“I believe these words came from the Pokemon movie…”

We are overwhelmed by choices. We are bombarded by information. Winning the battle for our precious attention gets more difficult by the minute.

Engage me from the outset, or lose the opportunity to build credibility, earn trust, cultivate a relationship.

Get to know me, show me you know me, show me you value me. Rinse and repeat.

So when you send me an e-mail encouraging redemption of my loyalty points when I don’t have any, you create an indelible message about your commitment to being personalized and relevant.

When your customer service reps initiate a conversation by emphasizing how much you value my loyalty, and then promptly do everything to show that those are hollow words, trust evaporates quickly (I won’t tell you who did this recently, but their initials are AT&T).

When you want to seen as a credible Presidential contender and you start a serious message with “I believe these words came from the Pokemon movie…” your fate is sealed (I’m going to miss you Herman!).

To win more than your fair share of attention, you need to start strong and engage quickly.

When you don’t, we stop listening to what comes next.

And the battle is lost.

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