In the current Idea Email, we explore ten traits displayed by companies that use customer media and content that works to help customers discover their products and to build long term relationships with those who become buyers and users.
Here are six companies we believe are demonstrating some of those traits.
With the introduction of each new Google product comes the roll-out of an entire suite of media and content tools (except for the Twitter account, all Google tools, of course) to support users. Introductory videos, forums and a supporting blog are standard. For Adwords (shown), the source of the majority of Google’s revenue, the supporting media is a graduate degree sized collection of training to help customers spend as much as possible on Google ads.
Lowes and its competitor, Home Depot, have embraced customer media and content to the point where they give ideas and how-tos as much prominence as the products they sell. At Hammock, we call this, “Selling the customer a hammer is a transaction. Teaching the customer how to create is a relationship.”
A great example of a business-to-business opportunity that was presented to Adobe because it was the first and most dominant player in several of the markets it serves. While there is an entire training and support eco-system in Adobe’s orbit, the company itself provides an enormous volume of free and paid content, training and support.
Crutchfield is a unique company with customer media and content in its DNA. Its founder recognized that helping customers was an un-met market need on which the company was conceived. Starting in the early 1970s with the simple premise that lots of people wanted to install better audio equipment in their cars, but didn’t know how, the company focused its early mail order concept on being the best at teaching customers “how.” Today, the company uses just about every media and content approach there is to keep teaching customers how…and why and what.
Purchasing a camera can be an awful experience. Manufacturers have turned the process into a confusing babble of technical jargon and features that mean nothing to the general consumer. That’s why we are impressed when a company like Nikon finally realizes that it’s all about the photos, not the techno-babble. Nikon’s Learn & Explore finally figured out what customers really want are great photos, not a camera.
We’re especially fond of the growing Business Resource Center you can find on OfficeMax.com. (Disclosure: We’re working with OfficeMax to create and grow it.) It is designed to help their small business customers find the products and services they need by first, helping them to meet the opportunities and challenges they face.