I had the opportunity to attend the Entrepreneurs' Organization University in Boston last week - more on that in another post – and got to listen to one of the more interesting speakers I have heard in a while.
Simon runs a consulting company that is focused on helping companies find compelling insights that they can act on. His presentation was supposed to be about customer loyalty, but in reality it was on taking a value centered approach to everything you do, because customers (and employees) that share your values and your mission, are, by default, loyal.
Simon has developed a model around helping companies determine “why” they do what they do (as opposed to "what" they do or "how" they do it) and I think he is dead on. The "why" is easy when you're small – if you are an entrepreneur, it's why you started your business – and the "how" and the "what" (process and features) spring from there. When you get larger, the "why" starts to blur because it's the hardest part to measure (processes and features are far more tangible).
Coming from a marketing perspective, Simon’s point is that you should be trying to attract the customer that believes what you believe – because they will become your loyal and raving fans, leading to more customers, who will become your loyal and raving fans, and so on and so on. In more pragmatic terms: focus on the innovators and the early adopters because they’ll bring you the early majority.