Thanks, Sheryl for another amazing talk. And thanks most of all for talking about it.
What’s especially inspirational about her talks is her blatant honesty with her own struggles, making her incredibly relatable.
I feel a lot of women don’t like to say they are a feminist because there are certain characteristics people tend to associate with feminism. Even if you were to remove your typical feminist stereotypes of being a man-hater etc, when I think of a feminist, I think of someone who has this natural gutsiness to take on the world. They have no fear and will fight and sit at the table with no pangs of insecurity – ever. This just isn’t true, even for men.
Her recognition that it exists makes her message to women far more reachable since we can look at her and think, “If a successful woman like her have insecurities too, then maybe, just maybe…”
For someone to have self-doubt and “feel like a fraud” – and actually admit to it when all you’re trying to do is to keep up appearances is extremely brave. And it’s all to help other women not be afraid to rise to the top.
I encourage women and men to watch her talk. But if you don’t want to watch the entire hour, here are her 5 pieces of advice for women in their careers.
1) Believe in yourself
2) Dream Big (Closing the Ambition gap)
3) Make your partner a real partner
4) Don’t leave before you leave
5) Start talking about it
Quilted Northern, it’s not “time to get real about what happens in the bathroom.” One should never “get real” about going to the bathroom. In fact, I don’t even know what that means.
If you haven’t seen the Quilted Northern commercials with women talking about “what they really want from their toilet paper.” You can watch this golden nugget here:
I could just imagine what happened here. Quilted Northern did some focus groups and asked women what they wanted in a toilet paper. They wanted to get behind the reason they liked the thickness of Quilted Northern brand toilet paper as compared to other brands. What they found out was astonishing. (To the brand marketers at Georgia-Pacific). Women like QN’s TP because it kept them clean… you know… preventing breakthroughs.
It’s not the insight that’s bad. Because the insight is good. Because yes, honestly, that is a spectacular reason for wanting a more thicker, cushiony toilet paper product. So they thought: let’s show women how much we know them and listened to them!
But creating a serious conversation about toilet paper is … frankly, disgusting and ridiculous.
Do you really think women will watch this commercial and think… “Oh yeah… I totally relate to these women. Because I hate it when my toilet paper breaks when I wipe. This is a serious situation. This is something that must be addressed. I have favorable feelings towards Quilted Northern because they understand my problems.”
Like I said. It’s not the insight that’s bad, it’s the execution of that insight. There is no escaping the fact that this is a funny subject. There is no denying that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 9 year old, a 67 year old man, or a married 34 year old woman with 2.5 kids – it is funny. So why not use light-heartedness or humor to get it across? Do married women with 2.5 kids not laugh? Can they only talk serious about toilet paper?
What the brand marketers at Georgia-Pacific probably didn’t remember about those focus groups was how much the women probably laughed through the conversation. I can’t imagine a scenario in which the women sat there and talked about toilet paper breakthrough with a straight face.
Powerful insights come from key product differentiating findings, but it also comes from a general understanding of your consumer and the context of your product. Without all parts, your output can end up being quite irregular.
P.S. All puns were intended.
I’ve been using Hulu Plus for Roku for a month and a half, and it is one of the most frustrating user interface I have ever seen. The biggest problem? I can’t really see anything.
Here’s what it looks like from my couch.
You think this is a dramatization of the situation. But it’s not. Because sometimes, I sit down to watch TV without my eyeglasses. (I know, bad habit, but that’s my behavior). So this is exactly what I see. So, I have to get up off the couch and find my glasses.
Alright now. Let’s go a little closer so you can see what’s going on here.
Hulu Plus did not put themselves in the shoes of their users with this one. Here are a few key areas clearly forgotten with this user experience:
- Design for the platform’s context. Hulu forgot that a person watching TV is sitting anywhere from 5 feet to 10 feet away from the TV. And yes, I know I live in the dinosaur age with my analog TV, but digital TVs are not going to make magic out of small white lettering on a black background.
- Relevance First, Discovery Second. When I log in to Hulu Plus, I want to see what’s new in my queue/subscriptions. I bookmarked them for a reason – because I’d like to see new episodes of the show. It takes me 3 clicks before getting to my queue. The 3 clicks itself wouldn’t be so horrible, if the queue/subscribe experience wasn’t also completely frustrating. Which takes us to..
- Assume your user knows nothing. I was not an experienced Hulu user when I subscribed to Hulu Plus. It’s been a month and a half, and I still haven’t figured out the difference between a queue and a subscription.For both queue and subscriptions, I have to click into each show, then use the sub-menu to go to an episode, then, I have to remember which episode I have watched, and click on the correct episode.
Hulu, here’s something you can assume: If I’ve watched it, I don’t want to watch it again.
Also, the menu item - “Recently Added”. The first few times I logged in, I assumed these were the shows *I* recently added. Don’t forget that customers are narcissists. They don’t care that you slaved to get “21 Jumpstreet” added to the Hulu content library. In fact, the assumption should be, (if your marketers did their job right), that the whole entire world’s library of tv shows are available on Hulu Plus.
Of course this is impossible, and so yes, perhaps customers do want to know if new shows have been added, but maybe “New to Hulu” ? …It’s even shorter.
What’s most shocking is that this is the experience for a monetizer. I am close to canceling my subscription, and it’s all because of this poor user experience. It’s almost unusable. The whole idea of Hulu Plus is that it makes watching TV easier. So then, why is it so hard to get to the shows I want to watch?
Starbucks is the chain you love to hate. Their coffee sucks. I hate how there’s one across the street from each other. And it’s so expensive! So then, why do I go there all the time? (Maybe because there’s one everywhere…)
Anyhow… I’d like to begrudgingly tip my hat to them for a piece of CI genius: Starbucks Petites
I bought one of these bad boys today: the chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting.
And you know what, I NEVER buy pastries from Starbucks. For one thing, the pastries are giant. I am already getting this 200 calorie drink, do I really also need a 350 calorie coffee cake?
It’s not like I don’t want one. When I go to Starbucks, I look at the pastries longingly. It’s like going window shoe shopping at Nieman Marcus or something. It’s like forbidden eye-candy. Buying one is so outside the realm of possibility that you block it out of your mind. It’s almost like they are not even for sale.
This is where Starbucks really understands their consumer. Because ladies, how many times have we thought “If I could just have one bite of that…” Just one bite.
Just one bite of a cupcake. Just one bite of a whoopie pie. Just one bite of a caramel turtle square. Just one bite of a lemon bar. Just one bite.
So you start to think. Well, it’s only $1.50. And it’s under 200 calories. Can I spare it? Yes I can!
And then a whole world has opened up. And so has my LTV as a Starbucks customer.