To be honest, I wasn’t surprised at all. Here’s why:
Chris has occupied a space in the minds of his audience as – like it or not – a social media pioneer/guru. A big part of his identity was his activity on social networks, plus his books and speaking.
That was his place, his box. It was firmly established, which is a marketer’s dream. EXCEPT when you want to evolve.
Because now you have an even harder task. You need to displace the old information, and you need to replace it with the new. You’re asking people to unseal their box containing you. That’s hard work (for both of you).
Let’s call it “replacement resistance.”
I recall the intense frustration I felt years ago, when (in a prior role/company) we were trying to expand our business footprint into a new area. The gatekeeper in charge was adamant – THIS was our sandbox, and THAT wasn’t.
We were trapped by the client’s metadata, stuck in our place. Don’t make me think about you in new terms. It’s too hard. You. Are. Here.
This categorization joined to resistance to change is a defense mechanism we all have. We must categorize to cope with a complex, information-dense world.
You might get one pixel of space, if you’re really clear and relevant. Make it good; and know that customer resistance to change will be very high. If you evolve (and you will), be sure you find a way to position it as a natural extension.
Great marketing starts with accurate, memorable metadata. But we can’t just declare a new identity or message and expect change. It takes tremendous effort to displace, replace, and gain our new place with our audience.
Image courtesy of lamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Related blog post: A Customer Service Story with a Gaping Void in the Middle of it.
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