Q&A: The Search for the Next Big Thing

Martin Lindstrom has seen human tendencies close up and devoted countless hours to studying them. What he has discovered is that our desires manifest themselves in hundreds of ways each day, from the computer passwords we choose, to where we place refrigerator magnets, and the way in which we take selfies or use emojis. In his book, “Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends,” the bestselling author and noted branding expert reveals how these intricate pieces of information can decipher what reams of big data cannot – how unmet human desires can unlock the next brand breakthrough. The man who Time Magazine once listed as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World” has been called a modern day Sherlock Holmes. We sat down with him to get his take what today’s consumers are really looking for.

Personification

Now that consumers are fully tethered to social media and the internet with their buying habits, it’s time for brands to relax with their sales megaphones. Sellers have to tone down their sales talk and become skilled listeners engaged in a two-way conversation with the consumer. The brand has to understand why the consumer buys from them.  That communication forms the platform for the buying persona.

Onboard: Consensus as Competitive Advantage

Amanda Setili remembers it as a teaching moment. After a string of strong revenue growth inexplicably began to plateau, her company’s sales and marketing teams were working amid a deadlocked, awkward silence. Nothing either team did seemed to be able to revive the once robust numbers. “Diversity of thought and varying backgrounds of individuals is important. Different approaches to looking at problems and problem solving give you a wide variety of ideas and opinions for getting to yes. When everyone is aligned around your vision, mission and values, you’re pulling in the same winning direction. That’s a lot of power and a competitive advantage that’s not easily duplicated.”