Your not-so-secret autobiography.
Happy Monday morning!
Today’s Curio includes:
🧠 You not-so-secret autobiography. [Consumer Insight]
🚀 Five habits that make you a better manager. [Leadership]
🤖 Composable organisations. [Digital Trend]
👩🔬 Brand interactions that really build loyalty. [Market Research]
💡 Promoting a complex product on YouTube. [Case Study]
Your not-so-secret autobiography
"A person's identity is not to be found in behaviour, nor - important though this is - in the reactions of others, but in the capacity to keep a particular narrative going."
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this quote from the English sociologist Anthony Giddens.
I read it in the Why of Consumption, and suddenly I’m all too aware of what I’m telling myself every time I decide to skip the gym or binge Nintendo Switch over reading the books I promised to finish.
Because this self-narrative is my identity.
That's what I’m talking about when I refer to myself as an individual.
Our stories evolve as we grow older, try new things and gain new experiences.
But throughout our lives, this story helps us stay true to ourselves.
Our self-narratives have two acts.
The first act is personal - aka Authenticating Acts.
This is who we are, and it's always different from how we present ourselves to others.
It’s the difference between you alone at home and you with your parents or at work.
Authenticating acts are a crucial part of our self-development.
The second act is our identity expressed through community - aka Authoritative Performances.
Every concert, party, family reunion, and vacation with your friends add to your sense of identity, security, and a feeling of belonging to a community.
We’re the sum of how we see ourselves as individuals and how we see ourselves as members of the communities we choose.
This got me thinking about how most brand communities are ghost towns.
But then you run into a Roblox stream from Kawaii Kunicorn or a TikTok live from Lumirä, and you see people who can’t wait to express themselves, participate and share.
What's the difference?
Field research - that's NatGeo but for observing people - in cultural festivals, family gatherings, and religious events shows that community events that make us feel wholesome deliver two things:
First, they create an ideal environment for the shared experience that isn't possible at any other time or place.
The magic is lost if you can have the same experience with anyone else or anywhere else.
The second is participation. Without participating in creating the experience with other community members, the experience becomes commoditised and loses all personal meaning.
Design a brand community that does both consistently, and you’re golden!
🚀 Five habits that make you a better manager no matter your experience
Regardless of how many people you're leading and how skilled you are, being a manager can be tough.
It's been especially tough for me because I like to build personal connections with people.
And it's taken me a long time to learn how to do that over Teams.
I'm usually the first to rant about the lack of formal leadership development programs, but there are some skills you just can’t learn from corporate workshops:
Impulse control: Everyone is busy these days. And this obsession with 'getting sh*t done' has taught us some bad habits. The worst of them is saying 'yes' to everything.
Anytime something urgent shows up in your IM or corners you at the end of a Teams meeting, prepare yourself to say this:
'I'm in the middle of something right now and will get back to you on this.'
Then take a moment to understand the priority and the effort required to do the job well.
And when you do pass it on, be prepared to explain why it needs to be prioritised and be ready to support your teammate if it requires them to switch their current priorities.
Set boundaries: Controlling the impulse to say yes to everything gets easier once you set clear boundaries.
Start with setting boundaries around your time. I've done it by splitting my days into 'working time' and 'meeting time'.
It sounds silly to the 'multitaskers' who think Teams calls are a great way to catch up with their inbox. But multitasking is just half-assing two things at the same time.
And that's not very managerial.
Keep it short: When you're sharing instructions or information, keep your content focused on these two things:
- What do you want them to know?
- What do you want them to do?
This will help you save time and ensure that every message you take the time to write is full of meaning.
Introspection: Your first job as a manager is to manage yourself.
Got a nasty email from a client? Don't ignore it. Step outside and take a moment to process it. Sometimes venting your anger and frustration to a friend or colleague helps, but it may not be possible.
Process how you're feeling, so you don't end up dumping your unprocessed emotions and unchecked behaviour on your team.
Creative freedom: Stop measuring your success in how many problems you solve, and start counting how many issues your team solves.
It means setting a direction for your team and asking them to figure out how to get there. You can support your team by creating a safe environment for people to ask questions, make mistakes, and ask for help.
🤖 What’s a Composable Organisation in 100 words or less.
Composable organisations are made from interchangeable building blocks. Instead of specialised silos, you build fusion teams. In a composable organisation, fusion teams can be rearranged depending on shifts in customer values or market changes.
The pandemic has highlighted that the organisational model built around the principles of efficient production from the industrial age has become too rigid.
Composable organisations is an evolution in organisational design. And it is based on the principles of modularity, autonomy, orchestration, and discovery that wasn't possible without the technologies available to us today.
👩🔬 The emotions and moments that really drive customer loyalty.
According to Forrester,
Combining journeys and emotion is powerful because it helps us see emotions paired with the context — the sets of interactions and events — that triggered and shaped those emotions.
And they believe that these four interactions with your brand can leave a mark:
Increase confidence when customers are trying to understand your product.
Avoid disappointment by optimising the payment process to boost confidence.
Make them feel respected and valued by protecting their personal data.
Boost the feeling of worthiness by focusing on sustainability and recyclability.
💡Promoting a complex product on YouTube successfully.
Marketing pros at SEMRush decided to increase conversions without increasing their marketing spend.
But the, after initial lacklustre results from YouTube, SEMRush decided to test view-based attribution and optimised their creatives.
And the results started pouring in.
Our CPA at the lowest stage of the funnel was 55% lower than that of the in-stream-only campaign. The cost per sign-up also fell 51%. Video Action campaigns cost 91% less, and view-through rates were 3% higher, than in-stream.