Pivot for the lovers, not for the haters
Brett Ledger, owner of Megabake, is a legend. He’s quiet, respectful and meticulous. He speaks with care and consideration whenever he’s in the mood for a chat (and I often hope he is). And he leads the way when it comes to products perfectly tailored to a niche market. To his athlete customers needing an energy boost while they’re still in the midst, his bars are a direct line to the source. Of course they are- there’s not one ingredient in those bars, one intention, that hasn’t been thought through in terms of quality and benefit. If I had to nominate one person with the biggest artisan heart, it would be Brett.
So when he told us his biggest mistake while starting out, we listened:
“For far too long I tried to address all the negative criticisms of my products and methods. This is just not constructive. In many cases, negative feedback will have come from someone who just hasn’t connected with your brand and is just never going to be an ongoing customer, so why manage and pivot your business in an attempt to win their favour? Sure, take on the criticism and apply learnings if there are any, but put your time into continuing to deliver for the lovers of what you do, leveraging off what you do well, and enhancing what you deliver for them. They are the people who keep coming back and paying for your products, they already believe in your brand, they spread the word for how good your products are, they are where to spend your time. You need to back yourself, your products and your service and know what is good about them, and who your target market is. Then you can screen the feedback for relevance.
A difficulty is that we often don’t receive the positive feedback in the same direct form as negative feedback, so even small amounts of negative feedback seem to stand out. Maybe one week you sold 500 energy bars, but one person came back to you and said that they wouldn’t keep using your energy bars because they were a bit too big to eat all at once. Do you lose some sleep and start planning a new product line with bite size pieces? (I did). No way – you just received one minor piece of negative feedback and 499 pieces of positive feedback. You just sold 500 energy bars, 499 people are in energy bar heaven right now, and that there is fabulous.”
Photo by Nigel Lewis – thanks Nigel!