Friday, June 17, 2011

Creating Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

This is a review of Guy Kawasaki's talk about his book Creating Enchantment at Stanford. The entire talk can be seen via the following link:

This talk by Guy Kawasaki is based on his latest book titled Enchantment: The Art of changing hearts, minds, and actions. In his talk he explains the basic necessary factors that are a must have, in your product to be able to attract the customers and also in an individual which enable him or her to be able to enchant others.

At the end of his talk while pointing out the points of an enchanter, he said that he should be able to present well and one way of doing that is to customize one’s introduction. That is exactly what he did at the start of his talk. After giving a brief background of his professional career he told the audience that he uses the top ten format of speech, so that if he sucks they know for how long it is going to be; as being long and good is ok, to suck and be short is ok but to suck and be long is equal to being stupid and arrogant. Then he related his experience at Stanford and how he used to aim for being rich and buy an expensive car and when he was able to do that he wanted to be back at Stanford. He showed a practical example of his word, which he stated in the initial portion of his talk that the mark of a good speaker is that he never loses track but the mark of a great speaker is that he goes all over the place and comes back.

Coming back to the core focus of the talk, the step that he explained for a product to be able to enchant the customers and for an individual to do the same, likability is the core. From the stand point of a product, the more innovative a product the more enchantment it needs. From the perspective of an individual too it is a key element. For people the first step in this direction is to improve their smile. The smile has to be a natural one and not a fake one, making crow’s feet good sign instead of a worry alarm. Next comes the right kind of the handshake. These two elements make the first impression of an individual and the first impression does matter a lot everywhere.

Next comes trusting others, as one might be able to like people but not trust them. The rule here is that you have to trust others and then they will reciprocate. Companies like ebay have shown it in practice that it is doable. They trust the people and have shown it by letting them buy a kindle version of a book which they are allowed to return in five days, some people might just read the entire book in five days and return it; still the company trusted people and is running a successful business. By doing this they have proved that generally people are reasonable and trustworthy and those few who are unreasonable, they are the ones who should not be the target for being enchanted. Similar situation is for people. According to Kawasaki, there are two types of people in the world eaters and bakers. People who are always thinking about their own share are the eaters while the bakers are always thinking of how to increase the share for everyone. People who show confidence in trusting are bakers.

Keeping in line of thinking about others, one has to be constantly thinking as to how he or she can help others. In the related scenario when you do something for another individual, a reasonable person is going to thank you back. Instead of replying with a welcome, the better idea is to say ‘I know you would to the same for me’. This way you are relieving the person of the burden and also telling him that he or she owes you and thus will come in need when you are at the other end of the situation. This formula is the key to success for networking.

When launching a product it should be tested on the rule of D deep I intelligent C complete E empowering E elegant. These are the components that the product and its associated features should be giving to the customer on the whole. This will make the product likable to the customers and be able to enchant them.

From the stand point of the message that you convey to your customer, it should be short, sweet and swallowable; based on the mantra and not the mission statement. Followed by this the better idea is to conduct a pre-mortem instead of a post-mortem as post-mortems are too late especially in a business scenario. Pre-mortem lets you see the loop holes in advance and save you from getting to the post-mortem situation. Other important considerations include that one needs to be able to tell a story as people are more interested in listening to it compared to just direct facts.

As the world has been inverted the rule of classic marketing of plant a few seeds and nurture them needs to be shunned and the rule of planting many seeds needs to be taken up. One has to enchant all the possible potential influences, as these days you never know who would be the individual who would make your product a success. The social media is all about word of mouth and no traditional medium was able to predict the success of this new order of connectivity.

Using salient points and highlighting them is another thing on the to do list here. Another important thing here is to create a social proof telling others that as majority of the people are doing it, it means that it is ok to follow suit.

One of the major ‘don’t’ here is the use of money. Even ever money gets into the equation things get complicated and not everything revolves around it. Youtube does not give money to its users but they use it as the need that is being fulfilled is different. Also the trust level differs as believing people who are being paid to enchant will somehow show that it is not entirely genuine.   

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