Beyond lessons of teamwork, we marketers can embrace several other lessons from these young girls to help us win championships for brand value, sales, loyalty and more. Here are just a few:
Break Down Walls
Even without intention, many brands see customers as inferior and easy to dominate, just like the club girls on the losing team viewed their teammates. This attitude shows through in lopsided customer service policies, like no-return policies, reward programs that take years to get the prize, unexplained price hikes, or poor-quality products and dismal response times.
When you engage in these practices and other cheap tricks that destroy karma in sports and in life, you are sending the signal that “we matter and you don’t,” hurting any chances of loyalty you might have. Follow the lead of the winning team and behave in ways that build equality and team, while building trust and friendships.
Communicate and Celebrate
You hate it when rules or criteria for rewards change after the purchase. So don’t pass it forward. Let your customers know when they are at risk of losing an opportunity, or are close to achieving a goal. Cheer for them when they earn a good deal from your company or make a wise choice. Praise them for helping you with little things like surveys. Let them know you’ve got their backs and value the role they play on your team.
Set Others Up for Glory
No one wants to keep reading about your profits, happy customers and industry awards. Change the focus and start setting your customers up for success — not just yourself.
FirstBank did just this and had one of their most successful campaigns. Instead of bragging about themselves, they ran campaigns that promoted their customers with copy that said nothing more than “Math Tutor, Call Martin,” “Wedding Singer, Call Sue,” and so on. They promoted real customers. And when the phone rang, they forwarded real leads, helping them achieve their goals. It paid off big at a time when other banks were floundering.
Have a Cause
These girls had a dream for themselves and their coach. They embraced their goals together, instead of getting stuck in that all-too-common mindset of “us” and “them.” They broke down walls, celebrated their differences and similarities, and fought for the same outcome. Just like you can do with your customers and employees. Nothing creates bonds and loyalty better than fighting for something all believe in, whether it be a world cause or self-actualization.
More than anything, we marketers must learn the power of creating a team with our customers, and executing on every level — sales, service and customer support. We need to embrace each other’s goals, aspirations and differences and find ways to play together vs. succeed at each other’s expense. We see leading global brands lose ground and die off altogether when they get overconfident and put profits above service and customer satisfaction. Or engage in cheap shots to help themselves win and others lose.
Takeaway From These Inspiring, Scrappy Soccer Champs
Big and small brands, sports and business teams can all thrive and achieve their goals quickly by focusing on building teams with customers, not walls, and working together with respect, dignity, a sense of equality and trust to achieve and celebrate all of their goals.