Communication essentials: the need for speed

You can’t ignore it. Everyone has the need … the need for speed.

And can you blame them?

After a year of delays, holding patterns and supply chain issues; after a year of struggling with labor shortages and retention … people are ready to do something. Anything. To get back out there and make some noise in the market.

We can empathize with that sentiment. We, as communicators, play a role in that as well. And what communications professional doesn’t want to get out there with something to say?

But before you sprint ahead, consider the ongoing message and purpose of this blog – to lead with communications. This is not a post to speak out against quick-turnaround projects or to advise us to slow down. In fact, this post agrees with it – after all, we are here to guide and counsel based on market conditions.

No, this post is to remind us of the role we play: to help our team, our clients, our company build value through a communications strategy.

In this case, it’s about standing out by being unique and building loyalty through customer experience.

For the sake of this blog, let’s use snow removal as an example. This week parts of Ohio were hit with up to 30 inches of snow. Now, as people woke up and realized they were snowed in (and didn’t own a snow blower) do you think people were loyal to that one person who always plows their drive? Or do you think they were out flagging down anyone with four wheels and a plow on the front?

(My guess is it’s the latter. Nothing challenges loyalty like immediate need.)

However, just because something needs done, and needs done fast, doesn’t mean we should abandon our purpose and the principles of what built our brand. Why plow the drive, like everyone else, when you can:

Build your brand:

  • Is your name on the side of the truck?
  • Do you leave a card or magnet for future need?

Add value and differentiation:

  • Did you shovel and salt the walk/porch?
  • Where are packages delivered?
  • What about side doors or where garbage cans are located?
  • Is there a pet area to clear?
  • Maybe you shovel out the mailbox walk?
  • Maybe you add poles to mark the driveway?

Create customer loyalty:

  • Do you offer digital payment options?
  • Can you grab an email or phone number to send a receipt and follow up with a coupon?

You get the point.

So … you can plow the drive for $60. Or you can plow it, shovel and salt and mark the drive for $90. Do you think the customer will remember the cost? Or the experience? We’re creating value, standing out and driving business. Just like we always want to be doing.

Point is, we don’t have to be like everyone else. We can stay true to ourselves, deliver the need and value of the day (time/speed) and still create value and manage a long-term strategy for our customers.

Speed will win the day. But value wins hearts and minds.