Back in the 70’s (or was it the 80’s?) Clint Eastwood
was entertaining us with his character, “Dirty Harry”, the insolent police
detective who did things his way regardless of the consequences. In this role,
Eastwood coined a number of phrases that have become part of our culture. My
favorite is from the movie “Sudden Impact”:
“Yeah, you’re a legend in your own mind.”
This was Dirty Harry’s response to a police captain who
was caught doing some bad things. He was going to jail.
As a marketing consultant, I could use this phrase in
response to much of the advertising and other marketing I see. Their creators
should go to marketing jail.
Too often people create marketing that is focused only
on them. Their message is all about their product, their service, their
features, their experience, etc. It’s all about them.
They seem to be so enthralled and enamored with their
product or service (or some aspect of it) they ignore the reason for our
“To deliver a message to a customer that helps them
determine if we are the best choice to help them get what they want.”
Our message needs to be about them, not us. It needs to
tell them how we help them and why they should believe us. Sure, part of our
overall message (at some point) might be about features, capabilities and other
aspects of our product or service. But those come later, not up front.
If we constantly focus on the customer then so will our
marketing. If our company is built around the goal of helping our customers
accomplish something, then our marketing will reflect that.
But, if our company built on arrogance, our marketing
will reflect that too. If we are primarily focused on how great we are and how
our product or service is the best ever, bar none, that attitude will pervade
everything we do. It will show in every action we take and every communication
If you want to succeed beyond belief, strive to be a
legend in your customer’s mind, not your own.