In the book I’m currently writing, Evergreen, I talk about the importance of loving your customers. The problem, though, is that when you say “love your customers,” it’s often taken literally without really understanding what I mean and how it applies to marketing. For example, everyone has heard of the mega shoe retailer Zappos. Zappos loves their customers – literally. The truth is, the Zappos way isn’t the only way and there’s a good chance it’s not your way.

There are two major reasons companies struggle to create effective marketing, which, by the way, really is the basis for a successful business.

First, they’re not really sure who they are as a company – their character, their own identity!

Second, they’re not really sure who their ideal customer is – their customer archetype, the person they’re trying to community with (your company may have multiple archetypes, that’s okay).

Interestingly enough, something magical happens when a company is able to truly understand their own Raison d’être and then create a model or living archetype of their ideal customer.

Suddenly, marketing, and all forms of communication, becomes a lot easier and far more effective.

This is how you love your customers. You understand them in a way that doesn’t rely on treating them as a number, or an “average,” but, rather, as individuals. They should want to date and be in a relationship with your company. That’s how you love your customers! You understand them and present yourself in a real and authentic way.

How well do you know your customers? More importantly, how well do you know yourself?