What a boy and his grandma can teach

So after a month Ma boarded a plane to Dubai. The one who was most upset at her going was Jaden, and I understand. After all he had grown extremely fond of her and was ecstatic to have her in his li'l boy life. Anyway we hope to see Ma soon in December.

When someone who you love leaves, its heartbreaking. Life at least for some time won't seem like the way it was. The reason's pretty simple. The relationship we form with people who we love sears into our being. The connect is emotional, deeply psychological. The result is a certain 'pattern' that we get so used to. Like having them be with us, do things with us, and so on. When that 'sweet' pattern is rustled, we balk. We protest. Sometimes even refuse to accept the changed scene. To put it simply, we miss those times that have now changed.

I've wondered if we ever 'miss' marketers. Has there been a time where a 'changed scene' has gotten you wistfully think about the store you had to move away from, because you had to relocate? If the answer's yes, chances are you loved going into that store, talk to people there and engage in what would have been more than 'plain' commerce. And now that you've moved, the pattern's broken, so you miss it.

With so much hoopla around analytics and what it can do to business, marketers seemed to have missed out on what matters at the front end. Connects with consumers at an emotional level. Piloted exclusively by great personnel at the store. Sure, that ain't enough to ensure business success, but it sure is at the heart of a 'connect' that ensures store loyalty, and wistful nostalgia should the consumer have to move elsewhere.

Ma had to go. Jaden had to stay. It was natural heartbreak followed. My word? There's a lesson in there for business.


Asha said…
Wonderful thought Professor, the marketer in you is always awake.

But- what if there are grandchildren (or customers), who are indifferent to who comes or goes, as long as their needs are met. Is this a boon or doom to marketers?
Ray Titus said…

Sure there will be ones (as people and as consumers) that transact purely on functional and economic lines. That is, what do they get vis-a-vis what they pay.

Marketers will have a tough time keeping their loyalty. They will have to work doubly hard at the price-quality relationship. Then again, combining that with a dose of emotion will make it a 'killer' combination. Something no consumer can resist. Guess why Wal-Mart's as big as countries?

About how grandmas will take to such 'tansacting' grandchildren, I guess they will be hurt.

What can they do? Continue with the love they provide and ask for nothing in return. Someday, hopefully the kid will see what that's worth.
Soumya said…
Hi ,

I also believe that good memories can also drag you back to shops places and people whom you have left and moved on long ago..
Like for example a coffee shop where friends used to meet, its not necessary that the coffee shop had served the best coffee in town or not ...

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