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As a child, Anna and her family would regularly take a picnic to the park and have lunch together on a blanket in the sun. They had no TV, no cell phones and only each other for amusement. They played games, shared stories and made plans.
One particularly happy memory involves her dad sharing his hypothesis of the Heinz ketchup logo having pickles on it to represent their previous involvement as a pickle company. To this day, when grocery shopping she pays more for Heinz ketchup over the generic brand because seeing that pickle logo on her dinner table brings happy memories of those family picnics and reminds her to bring her kids outside to eat together.
Anna has a relationship with that pickle logo. No one, not even the less expensive bottle beside it on the store shelf will take that away from her.
Leaders that harness the power of the relationship they hold with their customer will do far better than those that do not. Robots and competitors will always threaten the service we provide. They will offer to get it to them faster and be able to delivery it cheaper. What they cannot do, is take away the special human bond you have with that customer.
Spend time building meaningful relationships instead of focusing on the empty calories of transactions. Transactions pay off once, while relationships pay off repeatedly. Even if each individual payoff is smaller than each individual transaction, the sum of all the relationships over their much longer lifespan will come out farther ahead.
Form relationships instead of transactions, be a pickle.
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