Beyond the Bottom Line: Lavin Speakers on Customer-Centricity
Adam Alter, New York Times bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink, teaches marketing and psychology at NYU, and is an expert on understanding and predicting customer behavior. We often misunderstand how customers think, says Alter, and more importantly, what actually drives them to make purchasing decisions. What makes them choose one brand over another? How can companies leverage “choice architecture” to optimize the appeal of their products? Consumer psychology is Alter’s game, and he’s studied it to the letter.
The new school of marketing is here, and it’s called Growth Hacking. And Ryan Holiday, author of Growth Hacker Marketing and former Director of Marketing at American Apparel, is its foremost authority. Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, AirBnb: a generation of tech giants who never spent a dime on traditional marketing—no TV spots, no press releases, no gargantuan billboards. How did they pull it off? It wasn’t luck. They understood customer needs, desires, and buying patterns. They appealed to the cultural moment. How can you blend growth hacking and customer-centricity into a winning business strategy? Let Ryan Holiday tell you.
Social entrepreneur and business speaker Ido Leffler has crafted three winning businesses from the ground up—Yoobi, Yes To, and Cheeky—and not by pinching pennies. Leffler builds his brands around three pillars: incredible people, kick-ass products, and a worthy cause. And the “incredible people” aren’t just his employees. Leffler knows that to make any business work, customer engagement is key. Two of his companies operate on a philanthropic, buy-one-give-one model, and the third, beauty brand Yes To, uses natural, renewable sources, cruelty-free processes, and environmentally friendly packaging. By tapping into what customers really wanted—a socially conscious brand, from whom purchases would be doubly rewarding—Leffler has hit on a surprisingly effective business strategy.
To Sarah Prevette, founder of Sprouter, BetaKit, and the Future Design School, great corporate design is always user-driven. When you put the end-user, or the consumer, at the center of your brand, success is sure to follow. “The secret is not designing for your user,” Prevette emphasizes, “It’s designing with them.” And for start-ups and other small companies, this can easily become a reality. A small scale allows you to engage with the community, talk to prospective customers, and assess their needs on a personal level. When you design around the user, your business will be practical, dynamic, and profitable.
Author Michael Pollan calls marketing speaker and author Rob Walker “the most trenchant psychoanalyst of our consumer selves,” and Walker delivers on this promise. To him, the objects we purchase don’t matter—it’s the stories we build around them that leave a lasting impression. Sure, marketers leverage storytelling to sell products. But are the stories companies are telling the ones consumers want to hear? The narrative that really matters is the one that belongs to the customer. It’s your job to fit your product into it.
Understanding consumers’ online behavior is crucial to figuring out their beliefs, values, and above all, their purchasing patterns, says Alexandra Samuel. Does taking action on social media—liking a brand on Facebook, pinning an image on Pinterest, Tweeting about a deal—actually convert into a sale? In a captivating talk driven by data and hard-won research, digital speaker Samuel explains how social sharing drives purchases, accounts for the lapse between share and sale, and tells you which social networks lead to sales—and why. With her study of more than 80,000 social media users, conducted over 18 months (as featured in Harvard Business Review), Samuel demystifies customer desires and the ever-elusive online sales funnel.
Miki Agrawal is quickly becoming an entrepreneur to be reckoned with. At the World Technology Awards, she was named 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and her groundbreaking venture THINX was named to TIME’s “25 Best New Inventions of 2015.” How does she do it? Simple: she sees needs, unmet by traditional businesses, then invents solutions and crafts her companies around them. THINX aren’t just a high-tech, period-proof underwear for women, they’re also a socially conscious project—Agrawal partnered with AFRIpads in Uganda, and to date, has helped more than 30,000 girls return to school. To her, social awareness and customer-centricity aren’t just buzzwords; they’re viable, profitable ways of doing business.
Customer-centricity is the foundation of any good business in the digital age. To book one of our experts on customer-centricity—speakers Adam Alter, Ryan Holiday, Ido Leffler, Sarah Prevette, Rob Walker, Alexandra Samuel, or Miki Agrawal—contact The Lavin Agency, their exclusive keynote speakers bureau.