Sep 15, 2011

Likeability + Trust + Quality = Enchantment

The IMS conference team's default setting is "Yes." Here they scramble mid-keynote to give Guy Kawasaki a lavaliere mic and fix A/V issues.

For a marketer seeking a good time, Guy Kawasaki is a sure thing.  His presentations are potent, entertaining and informative. He is, in a word, enchanting.  And dovetailing on his new book titled Enchantment, Kawasaki kicked off day two of the Inbound Marketing Summit with a discussion of  brands can build enchantment.

Enchantment is built upon three pillars, according to Kawasaki:  likeability, trustworthiness and quality.


Developing true likeability is as important for brands as it is for people.  It’s probably a bit easier for us as individuals – sincere smiles, warm handshakes and careful mirroring of our peers body language and social signals are tools we use to gain acceptance – and to make people like us.

For brands to achieve this, the message was clear.  We need to be paying attention to our audiences wants, needs and desires.  In fact, Kawasaki’s guide to social media success – being informative, providing insight and delivering assistance – provides a good map for brands to develop likeability.


In discussing how brands can build trust, Kawasaki noted that in order to gain trust, brands need to first trust their audiences. A good example he gave is Amazon’s seven-day return policy for e-books.  Kindle users have seven days in which they can “return” a downloaded ebook and get their money back.  It would be pretty easy to game the system, but Amazon is trusting their audience to do the right thing.  Another good example are companies like Nordstrom, which have a 365 day, no questions asked return policy.  They are trusting their customers to do the right thing, and not return used, dirty merchandise.

A key to building trust, Kawasaki noted, is setting the company’s default to “Yes.”


In this age of radical transparency, great products are truly an imperative.  Kawasaki offered framework for products he nicknamed “DICEE.”  Great products, he told the group, need to be:

  • Deep: thoughtfully designed;
  • Intelligent: offering a smart solution;
  • Complete: the totality of the product – from marketing to user documentation to post-purchase service, and everything in between;
  •  Empowering: the product shouldn’t fight the user, and it should make the user feel better – more creative, prettier, more productive, etc.
  • Elegant:  Clear design and a good user experience.

In this day and age of transparency and rapid-fire social communications, Kawasaki noted that no amount of marketing can overcome a shoddy product, and that shoddy products create the very antithesis of likeability, trust and quality.

Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media.

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