Most professionals operate in an atmosphere of overanalysis. They nitpick every detail of the customer experience, actively seeking discernible behavior patterns and engagement opportunities across all touchpoints. Yet, while such strategies are essential for long-term survival, marketers and salespeople must look beyond the data and remember what it's like to live on the other side of this insight.With the Fourth of July just days away, my love for popsicles and grilled hamburgers has hit peak levels. But, with each year that passes, nostalgia leaves me longing for the ice cream trucks of yesteryear. Once upon a time, the Good Humor man had it all! But, while Chocolate Ã‰clairs and Firecrackers were delicious in their own right, nothing beat the refreshing fruitiness of your basic cherry popsicle. (Raspberry was always a favorite, too, though far more rare.) Sadly, however, such summer sightings have become all but faded memories.
Until one random trip to the supermarket, that is.
One afternoon, while running errands, I decided to take a detour and indulge my popsicle craving. Though I was prepared to settle for something less than stellar, one particular box caught my eye--Popsicle's Red Classics. Consisting of cherry, raspberry, and strawberry pops, it was almost as if I'd dreamed this combo pack into existence. (I'm not even kidding. I expressed my wish for this precise bundle to my sister just the day before.)
I won't even try to downplay my excitement. I squealed with delight while surrounded by complete strangers right there in the frozen foods section. Thankfully, people typically mistake me for a child anyway, so my outburst received only minimal stares.
But, as I reached for one of the boxes, I realized I couldn't recall the last time I was thoroughly jazzed about stumbling upon this sort of surprise. Childhood, perhaps?
You see, companies constantly strive to "surprise and delight" consumers, but just as adult consumers are more likely to condemn than commend, brands are more likely to bring out the bells and whistles. Children, on the other hand, approach all such interactions with simplicity, for they're happy when they obtain something desirable, and cranky when they can't have what they want. They don't care about NPS or loyalty rewards. For them, gamification sounds like something they'd do on their PlayStation, and push notifications are null and void. But, buried beneath the daunting data lies every consumers' inner child. Ultimately we all just want to leave the store, close that browser, or hang up the phone with smiles on our faces. We want to brag about our fabulous find to anyone who will listen to us gush! (Guilty.)
Therefore, next time you're parsing all that information to explore the internal thoughts of the average consumer mind, remember that you may very well be making your job harder than it needs to be. Data may expose the intricacies of the human mind, but true observation and interaction will ultimately reveal the human condition. We may be complicated creatures, but deep down, we're all relatively similar--we just want to be happy.