CX on the Brain? These Are the 5 TED Talks You Need to See
More than ever, consumers are prioritizing (and sharing) exceptional brand experiences. On the web, in store, or on-the-go, experience is headlining the conversation. In this age of experience, great CX defines brand image and operations. By 2020, it’s also poised to overtake price when it comes to product differentiation. Brands that don’t deliver on CX fail their customer — and themselves.
Brands are working tirelessly to develop more intuitive, innovative experiences — both off- and online. But, as McKinsey puts it, “[t]he road to failed customer experience programs is paved with good intentions.” Busy executives often forget the customer experience doesn’t begin and end with logistical elements — like website design, search, and shopping cart functionality. The most inspiring, memorable experiences humanize your CX and focus on individual behavior.
We’ve outlined our team’s favorite TED Talks on the subject below. Each has a unique perspective and a few actionable tactics to work into your newly inspired brand strategy.
1. “How Airbnb designs for trust.” If you haven’t heard Joe Gebbia talk about Airbnb’s inception, you should. It’s the inspiring story of a company founded on the desire to connect with others (well, and make rent, too). But its founders faced an uphill battle: How do you establish enough trust between strangers for one to open his or her home and the other to accept the invitation? The solution: Start with a personal connection. Introduce yourself. This can be applied to brand-consumer relationships, as a connected, one-on-one experience is the foundation for trust and loyalty. Joe envisions a world where connection goes beyond the transaction itself and isolation, separation, and walls disappear. Listen to his story here.
2. “What consumers want.” In his timeless TED Talk, Joseph Pine zeros in on million-dollar experiences. “Experiences are becoming the predominant economic offering,” he says. Take Disney’s Magic Kingdom for example. What makes it so special? According to Pine, it’s all brand authenticity. The most profitable brands are considered authentic. They deliver on promises and user experiences that meet and exceed user expectations. These brands don’t make claims about being authentic; they just are. Watch the full TED Talk here.
3. “How to make choosing easier.” We make 70 (give or take) decisions every day. How can brands help consumers manage all of their options? Sheena Iyengar dives into the science of choice. She calls the bottom-line issue “choice overload.” With too many options, consumers actually postpone decision-making — or worse, make the wrong one. Thankfully, she offers several techniques to improve this process. These include:
- Cutting back. Per the age-old maxim, less is more. Ironically, studies show that if you remove a few options from your goods or services, sales will likely increase.
- Concretization. To make decisions easier, explain the consequences of each option. Customers like knowing the potential results via photos, videos, or testimonials.
Sheena continues to discuss two additional techniques: categorization and condition for complexity. See her in action here.
4. “How great leaders inspire action.” In Simon Sinek’s now-famous TED Talk, he contends that the world’s most inspiring leaders have one characteristic in common: They think, act, and communicate based on purpose — “the why” behind what they do and create. That Apple and other innovative brands operate from the inside out is nothing new; however, this inside-out approach must bleed through to the front lines of customer service in order for your CX to truly reflect your purpose. Customers aren’t simply buying a product; they are buying into a shared purpose and that doesn’t end when they leave the store. Having a “Tim Cook” sure does help, but the “genius” who fixes your laptop keeps customers coming back for more Apple experiences. Watch Simon’s TED Talk for more.
>> Related read: 4 TED Talks That Will Make You a Better Leader
5. “How to get your ideas to spread.” Seth Godin takes a different approach to ideation. Before digital disruption, selling new ideas was relatively simple: Interrupt your audience with TV ads, sell your product, and buy more ads. But now customers have a lot more options and a lot less time. They ignore most advertising because advertising itself is unremarkable. No one comments on a cow grazing in a pasture. But, Godin asks, what if that cow were purple? That would cause a passerby to take note. Ideas, messages, and experiences must be extraordinary to stand out and merit discussion. Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful tools brands can employ to build awareness. People don’t talk about mediocre experiences. They talk about the purple cows. Find his colorful discussion here.
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