09 Dec Get Lost Amazon. “What If Business, Perhaps, Means a Little Bit More?”
This year, I decided to have a “No Amazon” Christmas.
Yes, I’m aware that this is a ridiculous declarative statement.
In years past, I’ve relied on Amazon to help me get through the holidays. I’m always late to the game in purchasing presents. Amazon’s “amazing deals” and quick delivery have been a saving grace to this working professional who would rather jump off of a bridge than step foot into a mall after Thanksgiving. (Holiday retail is a special kind of hell, and I’m not dealing with those parking garages. I won’t.)
This year, I came to terms with the fact that I’ve become lazy, and Amazon usually doesn’t have amazing deals on the things I need to buy. Instead, I decided to be better than Amazon. I set out to find quality gifts that make an impact while staying within my budget.
True Story: I was successful.
In changing my mindset, I was able to find unique gifts that I’m excited to give. It was less about snagging the best deal and more about turning a commodity into human interaction. MY thoughts and feelings are behind each of these gifts (as all gift giving should be).
In the professional services world, the direct opposite is happening. Consumers are turning professional services into commodities. The human aspect of business is being lost through commoditization. Our contributors touched on this a little bit in our last post, but it’s a concern we are hearing from all businesses – small and large.
I have an amazing dentist that someone recommended to me. He has five different degrees and has won various awards (including a Rhodes scholarship). This dentist cares so much about his patients that instead of subbing the work out to another dentist, he worked through a broken hip, surgery, and physical therapy.
How are you supposed to convey that level of commitment, Google?!
These professionals are being reduced to websites and newsletters. Consumers are looking for flash and low prices while hoping for quality and excellent service. They want to be educated but not sold to, and they don’t want to develop a relationship with a real person. They will do independent research (i.e.- hunt) for the best deal at a great price. This research will actually cause consumers to do themselves a disservice because they’re buying into a marketing ploy instead of getting a real deal (or answers).
Not all consumers want to work and explore avenues other than Amazon. Not all consumers are willing to see past the flash and get to know a company.
What’s the solution? How does a business retain humanity while playing the flashy website and “deals” game?
Our job is to help get past this barrier and show the humanity in business. We use our pictures to tell a real story. Custom photography is a way to show potential and current clients that you are behind the website, newsletter, etc. It takes that team of developers, designers, writers, and photographers to beat the game and show consumers the real you.
There will always be a lightning deal and someone flashier out there. Focus on how to humanize your business and create a positive impact instead of commoditizing it.
As the Dr. Seuss said, “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”