When bad personalization happens to good people

In a slow growth world your primary source of profitable top-line growth is going to come from winning market share. Increasingly that means not only having a winning product or service, but delivering a customer experience that is powerfully relevant and personalized.

Leveraging customer insight to move closer to a one-to-one relationship should be on any brand’s short list of priorities.

But you need to get it right.

I remember many years ago when I was in college I decided to live in the Theta Chi house on campus for the summer. One day I got a letter addressed to “Mr. Theta Chi.” Part of the copy read something like “you and all the little Chi’s will have hours of family fun with our new product.” Nice try.

Just this morning I got an e-mail from a purportedly “luxury” travel service touting their great personal attention and highly customized services. I’m willing to believe they are good people who serve their clients well. But when the e-mail started out “Dear Mr. Sageberry” they instantly undermine their brand promise.

It’s not easy to make “Me-tail” happen. The potential returns are enormous. But you must do the work.

Author: stevenpdennis

Steven Dennis is a trusted advisor and thought-leader on customer-centric strategic growth and innovation. As President of SageBerry Consulting, he applies his C-level executive experience to drive growth and marketing strategy for multi-channel retail, e-commerce and luxury industry clients. He shares his ideas and wisdom regularly in the press, as an industry speaker and through his popular blog "Zen and the Art & Science of Customer-Centricity"(https://stevenpdennis.wordpress.com/). Prior to founding SageBerry, Steven was Senior Vice President of Strategy, Business Development and Marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group. As a member of the Executive Committee he drove the company's major growth initiatives, multi-channel marketing programs and customer insight agenda. Before joining Neiman Marcus, Steven held leadership positions with Sears, including Acting Chief Strategy Officer, Lands' End acquisition integration team leader, Vice President-Multichannel Integration and General Manager-Commercial Sales. Earlier in his career he was with NutraSweet and the global management strategy consulting firm, Booz & Co. Steven received his MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University. In addition to his consulting work, Steven is an executive-in-residence at the JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence at SMU’s Cox School of Business, President of the DFW Retail Executives Association and serves on the Advisory Boards of Invodo Inc. and Nectar Online Media. He is also active in the social innovation and education reform arena as a Partner and member of the Board of Directors of Dallas Social Venture Partners. He is currently co-leader of DSVP's investment and engagement with SMU's Center on Communities and Education "School Zone" initiative in West Dallas.

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