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A reason to stop and listen

The only way to matter is to first work out what matters.

I was in town the other day walking along minding my own business, as you do. Lost in my little world of to dos – have I remembered to get everything? What was that thing I had to get for dinner? Have I got time for a coffee?

I was brought into the present by the sound of a busker, sheltering in a shop window, singing away but with a steady stream of people walking by and paying little attention. I couldn’t work out  what she was singing but as I got closer I could hear the tune more clearly. She was singing the same song I listened to as my wife-to-be walked down the aisle at our wedding.

We’re still happily married so needless to say this song has lots of wonderful memories of friends and family. I stood and listened to the rest of the song, a smile curling up from the corner of my mouth as memories flooded back.

She didn’t sing it as well as the original, but that didn’t matter – it was the memories that mattered. That was the benefit for me of hearing the song.

To everyone else walking by it was just a song with no particular meaning so they had no reason to stop. I stopped because it meant something to me. To me it was my wedding day.

As the song ended I dropped some money into her music case and wandered off thinking of the calls I should make to old friends and grateful for the opportunity to remember.

What matters to your customers?

Music has massive emotional resonance, but different music means different things to different people. It’s not the song but what it means, what memories, connections and feelings it triggers.

And the same applies to the messages we give our customers. What words and images do you use to tell your story and what emotions do they trigger?

What connections do they make and why should your customers care?

In other words, what will make your customers stop and listen to you?

Nick Cooper