AMACOM Author of New Book Offers Insights into Buying Patterns

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Edgar Papke Advises on Ways to Boost Revenue and Margins

True Alignment cover

Alignment is the ongoing conversation that leads to success.

Edgar Papke explores how to achieve revenue advantages—and reduce loses—by linking company culture with customer needs in his new book, TRUE ALIGNMENT (AMACOM, December 12, 2013). From cosmetics to cars, companies lock in a strong relationship with their customers if they engender an emotional affiliation with them. That starts by understanding and responding to the reasons why those customers choose to do business with them; the companies that do tend to be aligned with their customers.

“Alignment captures an emotional as well as a cognitive connection,” notes Papke. “It’s the first step to unwavering brand loyalty.”

Common reflections of mis-alignment are

  •     Revenue chasing
  •     Ignoring or misunderstanding customer motivation for buying
  •     Leaders’ and employees’ lack of personal experience with their own brand

Revenue chasing
“During the buying frenzy of the holiday season,” notes Papke, “it’s especially tempting to ‘over-chase’ customers and revenue. It is important to remember that not everyone who buys your product or service is going to become a loyal customer. In fact, there’s such a thing as bad customers who can actually cause damage to a brand. The key is reaching and keeping those that align to your offering and what it emotionally delivers. That’s why great brands and market leaders relentlessly focus on delivering the one thing that separates them from their competition, realizing that they can’t please everyone. Revenue chasing will all too often also confuse your employees.”

Ignoring or misunderstanding customer motivation for buying
Papke explains, “Leaders can learn a great deal about customers by paying attention to themselves when they shop. This includes how they make their own purchasing choices, what they want and desire, and how they emotionally respond to the messaging of the brands they choose. After all, we are all customers. The holidays, when many of us are shopping for gifts for others, offer a great opportunity to reflect on the buying decisions being made and what our key motivations are in making them, including whether they fit the recipient. One size does not fit all; just because I like something, it doesn’t mean that another person will.”

Leaders’ and employees’ lack of personal experience with their own brand
Papke recommends that leaders and employees gain insight from buying and using their own product or service, and experiencing whether their expectations are truly met. “This is a source of feedback that all too often overlooked,” he asserts. “Giving employees the opportunity to be customers connects them the brand intention in a more intimate way and provides them with insight they can’t get any other way.”

A key tip Papke offers every business-to-consumer company is this: “Ask your customers why they buy from you and not your competitors. This means not just asking them whether they like what you offer or how pleased they are. Probing further to understand what is motivating them to choose you over others will result in valuable insights.”

In TRUE ALIGNMENT, Papke enriches a business leader’s grasp of customer needs and provides the tools to fine-tune not only approaches to branding and selling, but also the company’s culture and their own leadership style to excel at satisfying them. Throughout the book, he offers examples of alignment in action—at Herman Miller, Harley Davidson, Facebook, Land’s End, Evolvex, Whole Foods, Folger’s Coffee, Oprah Winfrey, Blue Diamond Almonds, The Guitar Center, The Dave Matthews Band, and other exceptional companies and brands.

About the Author
EDGAR PAPKE is an organizational psychologist, a respected leadership consultant and executive coach, and an award-winning speaker and facilitator. He has received worldwide recognition for The Business Code™, his unique approach to organizational alignment, change, and performance. He lives in Louisville, Colorado..

Title:        TRUE ALIGNMENT
        Linking Company Culture with Customer Needs for Extraordinary Results    
Author:    Edgar Papke
Pub. Date:    December 12, 2013
Price:    $29.95 Hardcover    
Pages:     240     
ISBN:    978-0-8144-3336-2

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Maryann Karinch