Experiences and Consumer Psychology

In our current economy where services are becoming more and more commoditized, the new economy, even now, has begun to center on experiences – the next evolution of services. And not just any experiences, but those that are perceived to be authentic on some level. So a successful business now pays attention to everything that might affect the customer’s experience (yes, including things in which the ROI isn’t entirely obvious or calculable), as well as openness, transparency, honesty, care, and respect.

The way to grab the vital attention of a consumer is to appeal to their emotion and logic, but emotion first. Reel them in with emotion, and remind them why they’re there with logic – and you’ll create loyalty.

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5 Steps To Find Out If Your Business Idea Is Worthwhile

  1. See if it’s already been done. If it has, continue to the next step if you can devise a way to improve upon whatever exists or offer value to the existing player(s) in that market.
  2. Ask others for feedback on your idea. If you can’t find anyone else who thinks your idea is good, head back to the drawing board.
  3. Develop a Minimum Viable Product to give your idea a real-world test using your little corner of the market. This MVP is something that should be feature-complete only in its core functionality. Continue if it turns out to be useful to people.
  4. Start building your brand identity immediately and quickly. Fear those who may merely steal your idea less than those who can execute your idea better (as in beating you to market, making a better product, etc.). You may consider patenting if you have the resources, but it isn’t an end-all, be-all way to protect yourself.
    1. Your brand can’t be developed until you’ve decided on a name, so that’s your first order of business.
    2. As you consider what your name will be, also consider the availability of it in the form of a web domain as well as usernames on social media websites.
    3. Once those are nailed down, put up some sort of landing page as your website so people who look for you online will at least get some minimal sort of teaser.
    4. Website’s done, so go grab your social media accounts of the same name.
    5. Now you can begin to leverage all these resources to build your fan base. Call it a hype machine if that fits what you’re doing; hype machines can be very useful in building a business if done right.
  5. Create a customer acquisition plan and marketing strategy. You may consider directing your efforts toward getting crowdfunded, as one option. Focus on two questions:
    1. How will you get your first customer?
    2. How will you get any subsequent customer?

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Marketing My Business: Cold Emailing Tactics

I’m starting a business, so one big thing I need to succeed is clients. How on earth am I going to get them?

Well, there’s the obvious ways for starters, like knocking on doors, cold calls, cold emails, advertising, etc.

So I started by making some cold calls. Not too many, just a handful – which, as you might expect, didn’t get me much of anywhere.

One business I called told me that for my type of call, they prefer to receive emails instead, and she gave me an address to write to. So I wrote up what I thought was a good email pitch and sent it off to that business and a few others while I was at it.

Then I ran across some blog posts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) about how to do that very thing better and realized I had room for improvement, so I am summarizing them here for myself and anyone else who finds this useful. I’ve put them in a relative order that they should be considered.

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Step 1: Basic Business Plan

In trying to start my own business, I’ll be chronicling everything I do so that maybe a succinct formula can emerge to help me and others in the future.

The first and most important step, to me, is to get down on paper what defines this business idea I have. I need to force myself to look at this idea from every angle to determine if it will work and how.

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What Makes a Christian Different From Worldly People?

I recently ran across a CollegeHumor sketch all about why religious nerds are the biggest nerds in the world and how they’re just like all other types of nerds, but just more intense.
The video makes some valid points which I’ll bring out, but it also contains other more subtle messages that I want to analyze and explain here, alongside another point that relates back to this post’s title.

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How to Make Your Blog’s Visitors Trust You More

Do you trust me? I hope you do, because I would have no motive for giving you false information. I find random tidbits of knowledge on the web, and I figure I might as well share it, because maybe others would find it useful like I did. And I’m just an altruistic kind of person. :)

I think the price I charge for this dissemination of information is a fair price, because it costs me nothing but time to find, and costs you nothing but time to read.

And as my guest, I hope you feel that I am caring for you by keeping this blog the way I do.

I welcome all comments here, and my personal policy is not to delete comments that I disagree with, but I will delete those that add nothing to a conversation. I hope you think that is fair treatment.

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How can startup cofounders keep track of their equity?

A while back, I heard of a new web app that would let cofounders of a startup easily determine how much equity they are owed based on their contributions in the forms of labor and capital. This new website was Accumi.com.

But I found the name of that site extraordinarily hard to remember, so every time I needed it, I would Google whatever terms I could think of that seemed relevant – except for some reason, even that rarely got me the result I was looking for.

So today, when I yet again performed a similar search, after a few query revisions I uncovered a website offering a similar app which it released sometime between July and November of this year, based on what I can see on the Wayback Machine’s archives for that site.

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My thoughts after attending a hackathon

  • I can’t do this often. Skipping one whole night of sleep to stay up for two days straight makes me feel horrible. And definitely don’t put me on the road after that. We will crash in short order.
  • Hey MLH, why is this limited to college students? I’m not in college anymore and I might like to do this more often, but it’s a stroke of luck that I was even able to participate in this one.
  • I need to remember next time not to eat constantly just because the food is abundant, because my mouth will grow weary of food while my stomach may not.
  • 24 hours isn’t quite enough time to make something great. I would say a more ideal duration would be 48 hours and have it start in the morning. This way, people can get a solid day of work in and still have one more ahead of them, so they will feel more free to sleep during the night in between, as they should be doing anyway.
  • I wonder what would have happened if one of our team members had begun to conflict with another on the direction of our project. Would we have needed to work through it or find a replacement? If the latter, where would such a replacement come from if everyone has found a team and been working with it happily thus far? And to what team would our outcast have gone? I’m just glad that didn’t happen, because 24 hours, again, might have been a bit short to accommodate that kind of happenstance.

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How To Be Happy

To summarize an article I ran across on BigThink:

  • 48% of your happiness level is determined by your genetics
  • 40% is is determined by recent, quick-to-fade environmental factors
  • The last 12% is directly determined by our choice to pursue four basic values of:
    • Faith
    • Family
    • Community
    • Work

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