You know what I am tired of? This metrics/analytics crap. It treats customers like a number, not emotional beings. It’s OK to understand what they are doing, but solely making your marketing plans based on the numbers gets a little annoying – not only for the marketers but for the consumers themselves. You can smell the analytics crap through their marketing.

If you look around, you will notice that pretty much everything today we take for granted was first imagined by a visionary. May that be your car or that plane you fly in – it is visionaries who imagine and create great things. They can do it because they think from their hearts, not their data and numbers.

For example, before the invention of the mouse, you had to write a whole line of code in order to open a folder or move things from one folder to another. Steve jobs looked at this with empathy and created something that changed our lives forever.

In order for us to see the vision, we have to look at things differently. Great visionaries are empathetic and they look at the world as solving problems, not making money. 

For example, you might have a beautiful design for a new type of lamp. You create it, then you ask people to buy it. You shout on the top of your lungs on how this is the most beautiful lamp and how you are different. You buy ton of ads to interrupt people so people can buy it. This is how traditional marketing goes. But a visionary will find the pain points of the traditional lamp, solve it, be empathetic and then create the product. A visionary will focus on telling a story, not features. 

In the book difference, Bernadette talked about the shopping cart. If you think of it, it is hard to imagine that we ever went shopping without them. Every supermarket has them. When Goldman (creator of shopping cart) observed that people stopped shopping when the hand carts got heavy, made the shopping cart. He looked with empathy and looked at his customers from his point of view. At first, people thought it made them look weak. So, he moved on by changing the culture. He hired greeters and actors who pretended to shop with the shopping cart.  And rest is history. 
The thing is that in the last 30 years, the marketplace has changed. The days where one company could dominate the market are gone. A small startup can disrupt the whole market. Dollar shave club changed how Gillette operates and so on. Just as your local meat place is telling a story of neighborhood fresh meat, you have a story to tell. And in today’s world, only stories sell, not products. 

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So, what makes visionaries? 

  • They are Emphatic
  • They know the changes they want to make
  • They play the long term game
  • They ask good questions
  • They watch what people do
  • They target niche, not a mass market
  • They make products for people by solving their issues, not creating a product and then finding people later
  • They create a story and emotional connection with their consumers
  • They trust their instincts and go the extra mile
  • They think more about creating experiences than products

If you look at any visionary, they have these qualities. They don’t go out and interrupt people. They don’t focus on just creating 1 unique selling point. They care about connecting with customers and creating a compelling story. They believe in creating tribes. They understand what people are looking for and what they think about your solution. 

So be empathetic and care about your customers – in return they will reward you.