How the Connection Economy Unlocks the Mystery of Sushi and the Kindle

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.

Solo dinner: Sushi & Kindle

Solo dinner: Sushi & Kindle (Photo credit: inju)

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

Be Different, Sincere, and Succeed: A 10 step guide on how to be an all around nice guy…or gal

We are living in a crowded age.  Busy is normal, and attention is hard to capture and keep.  You want to be noticed and MEMORABLE.  Are you doing enough? Unless you’re satisfied with a “me too” existence, you probably aren’t doing enough but are eager to learn.  Afterall, That’s the reason you’re reading this post.  Don’t worry, you can get better. You will get better. I just finished reading Michael Hyatt‘s book, Platform: Get noticed in a noisy world.  In it, he gives a detailed “how-to” on building your social media  platform and how to utilize it appropriately, intentionally  and authentically. Platform is the BIG PICTURE, 30,000 foot approach to strategically building your personal brand.   You must read it. What about the SMALLER PICTURE, the 10,000 foot level, tactical approach to getting noticed and DIFFERENTIATING yourself?  This is a simple list of things you should already be doing.  They are so simple, you won’t believe everyone else isn’t doing them.

1. Hand written thank you cards are better than emails.
2. Pick up the phone and call (not all the time, have a voice, not just Facebook)
3. Proactive Networking: Birthdays are nice, in fact they are crucial, however saying high on a random day without asking for something is the icing on the cake. This used to be called Networking.  Today it’s called–well, Networking.
4.  Under promise and over deliver: Surprise people with fabulous results beyond there expectations. Don’t set that bar too low as to be insincere, but give yourself some room to excel.
5.  Names, names, names. Don’t forget names. Use  names early and often.
6.  Showing SINCERE interest in people’s kids is more important than their hobbies.
7. Follow up and follow through on your commitments to people. Unfortunately, people are used to empty promises. Surprise them with delivery.
8. Stay positive. Misery loves company but we still like to have happiness delivered our way. A smile will go a long way.
9. Make aggressive mistakes.  You are going to mess up.  Make sure you mess up because you tried to be kind rather because you tried to avoid trouble.
10.Give more than you ask.  In fact, give way more than you ask.
Bonus:  Pray for people when you tell them you will pray for them.  Offer to pray for people. This will bless you more than you can imagine.

Successful people do the BIG things very well.  They do the SMALL things even better and more often.  Don’t feel as though you must master this list.  Use it as a guideline and learn from it.  Change your mindset to focus on the little things while keeping your eye on the big picture.  The most important thing to remember is that sincerity goes a long way.  You may find yourself in situations where you can’t sincerely execute these steps.  A tough client may not seem appropriate to engage in a conversation regarding his daughters ballet recital.  Don’t go there if you aren’t sincere.  Make these steps a part of your mantra.
Share with me a time a sincere attempt at a nicety went wrong.  How did you resolve it?  Did it affect you in the future?
Rocco De Leo