I Like stuff. I want you to +1 me. I get retweets, follows, comments, who saw you on LinkedIn, your profile is 80% complete, etc, etc. I do know how to express myself. So, please stop pinning me with a box of flairs in the name of gamification!
There is none.
It is no longer about following instructions, or solving assigned problems, or picking the right fork in the road.
It is about knowing that at every moment, you are exercising choice to do exactly what you are doing. And, knowing that you are forging your own path.
There are two kinds of products and services. There are those that are utilitarian. They solve a problem for us, and we just care if they do the job, and how much they cost. Then there are those that make us feel special.
If the exact same email is sent to everyone, it is not special. If everyone is wearing the same shoe, or reading the same book, it is not special. By definition, it is special, only if I can show (even if to myself) that I am special, because I have your product or your service.
Marketers have known this for a long time. So, this is not a post about marketing.
It is a post about how we come across to those we touch. How often do we meet people in an elevator, or in a shop, just to exchange a generic how-do-you-do? How often do we ask about their new hair, or the raw milk in their cart, or their new job?
I personally have a very poor memory for faces. I know you have two kids the same age as mine, that you have a bully you are dealing with at work, and that you are working on this new exciting project. It is especially hard for me to talk to you about these, till I can match your face to who you are. It is especially easy for me to treat you like one of the crowd – but I don’t want to. This is my new year challenge for myself.