Sunday, June 26, 2011
Go! Enchant the World....
It started with
and then later
And now what?
When I first encountered this word in a business context I thought to myself, here’s more BS* in a ball gown. It must be some clever Marketing guru’s concoction. A crafty writer's attempt to rename/repackage concepts already made popular by Philip Kotler and others in that league. After all isn’t packaging and positioning a large part of Marketing? ;)
And it turns out that the person who brought this word to mainstream business was none other than Apple’s former chief evangelist. And given Apple’s growing influence on people’s lifestyle, he’s hardly a person I want to challenge :-)
But to some extent I was right. Enchantment (in a business context) is all about bringing a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change in other people (not just in the business ecosphere but also in personal relationships). It is about the art of influencing people in such a way that they change their hearts, minds and are ‘bought’ over by your idea or product/service - the very same basic principle around which Customer Delight and Satisfaction have been centered (for decades). Really, nothing new at a fundamental level...
Besides my complaint of redressing an old concept with a new name, there are two reasons why I second the concept of ‘enchantment:
1. - With time, phrases such as Customer Delight and Satisfaction become so hackneyed that they lose their significance. The fact that they have been quoted or referred to for decades, in boardrooms, sales trainings and reviews, have made them so trite… so commonplace, that every business assumes it is already doing enough of it. Therefore relooking age old wisdom with a new catchphrase does help to look at things with a new eye. A fresh perspective. A new thinking hat. For that reason alone, it helps to give an old concept a new image (name).
2. -Enchantment refers to influencing everyone, not just customers (unlike Customer Delight/Satisfaction…and such). It extends the art of influencing to all spheres of life not just people who would buy your product or service. Especially in the age of digital influence, it offers some insight into how to build, retain and capitalize on digital goodwill.
Several people in the corporate world seem to be enchanted by Enchantment and have offered generous appreciation and praise for this former-evangelist-turned-successful-author, his new approach to influence and the anecdotes and examples he uses to preach this concept. But I think one huge reason why Enchantment is catchy and sticky is the sense of humor that it has been delivered with. Not just in print but also in spoken words. Yes, there is something about elucidating a new concept with wit….something about eliciting laughter from the audience….something about eliciting a ‘orbicularis oculi muscle smile‘, instead of a ‘Zygomatic major muscle smile’ :-)….that makes a concept very memorable.
(*BS = Bull Shit)