Customers, needs

There are four things to look for with what your customers want. 

  • What do they say?

  • What do they do?

  • What do they click?

  • What do they buy?

Last week, Amazon offered their Prime Day deals, a system built on serving customers. My sister-in-law bought an Instant Pot. It can cook a cake in five minutes my niece said. Cake was on her mind because it was her birthday. We’ll come back to this.

You’d never guess it, but the biggest brand in food isn’t a posh New England woman or a distinguished Southern gent. It’s not a BBQ Cowboy or a California New Wave American fusion hippie. It’s Tasty, a company created by Buzzfeed. The listicle site? The ‘the dress’ site? Yep. Stepping back though it makes sense.

People express their needs by what they Say, Do, Click and Buy and Buzzfeed creates, counts, and collates clicks.

Serving customers is about asking, watching, and counting what they do. Traditional businesses, the small business downtown store asks their customers though communication. Businesses with more technology can count more easily.

It wasn’t just that Buzzfeed counted the clicks and created a type of recipe but a type of delivery too. The medium mattered. Ashely McCollum led Tasty through its rise and said, “The focus was not on food. The focus was on a format that you can watch in your social feeds, post literate, and audio independent.”

Have you seen square shaped overhead cooking videos in your news feed? Those were fashioned by McCollum and her Tasty team.

In the clicks McCollum saw that people wanted to share things. The ‘Try this recipe for Labor Day’ is there becuase it’s what customers want.

Why do customers, like my niece, want cake? It’s a treat. It’s a celebration. Why do we bake a cake from a box or buy one at the store? It shows signals the importance of the moment. It wasn’t until boxed cakes made the baker add an egg, some oil, and water that the product became popular. Without those steps, the baker doesn’t signal that what they’re doing is important. Without mixing they’re just serving.

The boxed cake brands found this out by talking to their customers. Some companies like Tasty and Buzzfeed can count. Amazon and others can use AI can listen, watch, and count in new ways. But any company can interact.

Just watch out. Tomorrow we need to distinguish the buyers from the liars.