We've all witnessed good ideas taking off in front of our eyes, powered by few basic human desires: the pleasure to publish or share news (blogging), the satisfaction to be part of something good & useful (volunteering), the desire to help other people (donations), or the ambition to leave our mark on something that goes beyond us (open source).
Google is one of the best examples. Google took off only by word of mouth due to its customer-centric focus. And so did The Body Shop. And these are just two examples of people centric, good ideas that became sound successes due to their customers who found them useful, attractive, honest, good, empowering, and worth supporting.
Although not every business is a Google or a Body Shop, the basic principles for building a business are the same. Stay focused on your customers and they will reward you.
Every business, not matter how big or small should be able to come up with some good answers to the following questions:
1.) How does this business better people's lives?
2.) How does this business inspire people?
3.) How does this business reward loyal customers?
4.) How does this business make people want to spread the word about it?
5.) How does this business inspire people to want to be part of its success?
Fueled by goodwill and trust, businesses take off a lot easier. Good, inspired marketing is never to be underestimated, but like anything else, good marketing puts the customers first.
In an open society powered by Tivo, blogs, RSS feeds, forums, brand evangelists, networking groups, advocacy groups, consumer groups, free thinking, and free speech, a business survives only if it truly answers these questions with insightful answers.