Sushi is one of those things that draws people together. Like the comraderie in the trenches of war, eating sushi with someone instantly builds rapport. Sushi is a cultlike experience. Maybe its the co-worker who is grossed out or the relative who calls it bait that makes it an experience rather than a meal. Whatever it is, I love it. My only problem with sushi is that I can’t order. I’m not intimidated by the non-tranferable names such as the “santa-monica roll” or the “Vegas dynamite”, names which mean completely different things at Joe’s Sushi and Sushi on Fire. The variety gets me. Too many choices. I’m the same way with Christmas presents. I am convinced that you can choose something for me that I’ll enjoy much more than I can choose. I’ll analyse my choices to death, agnogizing missing one joy by choosing another.
I am a typical, albeit neurotic, consumer. I am over saturated, underwhelmed, and looking for assurance that I will make the right choices.
As marketers, how do we capture the hearts and loyalty of consumers paralyzed by too many choices?
My recent journey to choose the Kindle Paperwhite over Nook Simpletouch with Glowlight was a snapshot of the connection economy at work. Like a hungry patron at Mika Sushi, I was looking for someone to tell me what and why to buy. The old economy would have me going to a store asking a sales person about each model, then making a choice. Typically the choice was dumb random luck; like the last store I happen to walk in to. Economy 2.0 had me comparing company websites and reading reviews. Better, but still predictable. Nook would champion Nook, and Kindle would champion…guess who. The reviews usually point out terrible products well, but comparison of multiple products beyond specs are rare from a website that just sold one particular product. The connection economy is different. It seeks advise from and true compatriots. I’ll trust you if you tell me the Miso soup tastes like rotten mushrooms if you are in the restaurant experiencing it with me.
The connection economy with tools like Facebook and Twitter is much like the Sushi place with countless mysteries on the menu.
Searching for clarity, I reached out to people I trusted would provide detailed considerations in chosing an e-reader. ultimately, my tribe pointed me to the Kindle. Not so much endorsing the Kindle as superior, my tribe of writers, entrepreneurs, and leadership experts have more “experiences” on the Kindle. Amazon has connected with its users by understanding why they use an e-reader. At least in my tribe, the Kindle is a partner in delivering the fruits of many dreams of people I follow. Rebels of publishing pushing out unconventional products on a mainstream device through the Kindle. Amazon affiliate programs at the grass roots on blogs, an ultimately the fear that I would have a Nook and a desire to read a Kindle only book, forced my hand. The connection economy is real and is growing leaps and bounds everyday. Individuals, now more than ever, have the capability of building a tribe of trust and influencing customers. Will you be driving influence or watching from the sidelines?
Rocco De Leo