How Playing Oprah Gets Big Wins
The year was 2011 and a Fortune 200 company had just bought Blockbuster Video. The new management team was trying to identify how to best use this new asset.
We, at ZenMango, were tasked to discover the true value of Blockbuster Video. We started with a detailed discovery with all stakeholders and then I wanted to play Oprah. We created a mini living room in one of the Blockbuster stores and invited super loyal customers to come in for a deep dive one-on-one interview.
I greeted the customers at the door, got them a beverage from the refrigerator, and walked around the store before sitting down. Then the conversation started and soon I asked them the most important question (MIQ) “Why do you love Blockbuster Video?”
My second interview was with George, a middle-aged married man with three kids. When I asked George the MIQ, he said “This is the place where my family was one, every week, for nearly four years.”
George went on to explain that in those days, his two older sons were teenagers and only communicated using inaudible hmm’s or grunts. Every Friday, the family, which also included their eight-year-old daughter, came to Blockbuster to rent movies. The brothers went in their direction to find their movie, and Sam, the eight-year-old, chose hers. George paused and had a deep smile as he said “It was fascinating how my two sons took incredible interest in the movie that Sam chose. They discussed and were the strictest of censors to decide what she could watch”. George paused again before continuing, “Those days Arjun, I was quite worried about our family as we hardly talked. But on Fridays at Blockbuster, our family reunited, and it showed how much we cared about each other. I love Blockbuster as it made me feel that we were one family.”
Wow, that was simple yet deep! I heard similar stories from different customers over and over again, and soon it was evident how powerful a family brand Blockbuster was. That insight was further validated and helped the new management team maximize on the Blockbuster equity.
It has been more than 10 years, most of us may have forgotten Blockbuster Video, but I have never forgotten how powerful it was to learn from my conversations with George and other super loyal customers. It was a reconfirmation that customers who are deeply connected to a brand, love to share. It was not just asking the questions but creating the right scenario that made the customer feel important.
The scenario included both my mindset and the ambiance. I have discovered time and time again, once we create the Oprah moment, customers happily answer the MIQ to share their love for the brand.
At ZenMango, every chance we get to do these deep dive Oprah moments, I personally get goosebumps and the insights are simple and magical. Love is simple and asking the question also must happen in a simple, relatable, human way.
The world is changing as we go through the extended pandemic, and it is more important than ever before, to have these conversations with customers. I have learned that success comes only when you feel what the customer feels, as we are all in the Feeling Business®.
Here are three questions for you as you start your journey to get the answer to the MIQ:
- Who are your super loyal customers?
- How will you create the Oprah moment for them to share their love for you?
- Why do they love you?
Once you know why your customers love you, long term success for your business will come from nurturing and growing the love your customers feel for you.