Within the past year, I moved across town. After I moved, my new environs felt strange, different and uncomfortable. Which, to be honest, was just what my life needed at the time – a jolt to get me out of my rut.
But with time, my new community now feels like home. Comfortable and familiar.
I needed both feelings exactly when I needed them. It worked for me. This new place, which once felt foreign, now feels like home. You know the feeling I am talking about…
But how do these feelings of “being like home” impact your brand? Thinking on it, I think “feeling like home” is bad if you are an entrepreneur, business owner and brand.
I cannot remember where I heard or read it, and I am sorry that I cannot give proper credit, but someone recently said that when you are comfortable, you aren’t pushing yourself. You aren’t innovating. And you aren’t learning.
And when you are running a business and trying to serve customers, this is a very dangerous place to be.
Honestly, you should always be uncomfortable when in business. You should never be satisfied. And if you are striving to be comfortable, two things will result:
Boredom. And failure.
And by failure, I don’t necessarily mean going out of business. But becoming ordinary. Irrelevant. Boring. Just one of many on the shelf.
The more you’re able to tolerate ambiguity and lean into the unknown, the more likely you’ll be to dance with it long enough to come up with better solutions, ideas and creations. | Jonathan Fields
Ask the recording industry, or bricks and mortar book stores, if they wished they hadn’t remained comfortable.
No, honestly, many businesses make good profits when they “feel like home” to their new customers. “Ah, a great new product that works for me,” you think to yourself. And you become loyal to that new brand, for a while anyway. And it is probably good to make your customers feel like they’re home.
But you know what happens.
Over time, as a long-time user of a product or service, you get that itch. There’s a new thing. There’s a new idea. There’s a new way. And you almost can’t help yourself in being curious to check it out. Just because it is fresh.
I think that’s human nature. And I think it’s natural.
So, as a business person, you HAVE TO ACCOUNT for this phenomenon, and make it a part of your long-term strategy. You have to expect – and prepare – for it.
Never be comfortable. Never settle. Always learn more. Always seek to question basic assumptions. Always ask your customer how to improve, how to do better, how to remain meaningful.
Because not only is effecting change important to keeping things fresh for your customers, quite honestly, they can invigorate you too.
How many businesses and brands are negatively impacted by the owner who has lost interest, lost the passion, and frankly, no longer cares?
No, the lesson in my life? I will never allow myself to remain comfortable again. I won’t wait to make changes, adjustments that will keep me thinking and innovating. I admit that I used to seek being comfortable. But looking back, most of life hasn’t been. And for the most part, that’s been ok. I’ve learned a lot, and achieved a lot.
Now I accept it as my full-time paradigm. And I think healthy brands should seek that out too…
What do you think?
[to learn more about branding, join my free newsletter, or subscribe to the blog feed]
[subscribe to my podcast via iTunes]
[pic by jasonwhat]