It’s hard asking people you trust to give their honest opinion of your work; especially after all the time and effort spent perfecting what you think is great. But, if you can get past a bit of a blow to your ego and see past your emotions you can see those honest opinions can help your business grow.
The idea of openly asking for honest feedback has gained huge success for Pixar Animation Studios, which is home to movies including Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Cars. They credit their over $8.6 billion worldwide success to their philosophy of going from ‘suck to un-suck’. They know that when they start writing a story it is going to be far from perfect, but through careful scruntinization and feedback they end up with something great. Author Tim Harford calls this ‘the culture of dissent’ where an organization is open to ‘fostering and environment in which mistakes can be revealed, exposed and corrected’.
We just went through this gut wrenching exercise ourselves. Knowing that we had to be open to anything that came back at us, we reached out to our community of friends, clients, investors and other stakeholders. We put our egos and feelings aside and asked them to give us their honest opinions about our branding and promotional work. We took their feedback seriously and as a result we:
- Changed the name of our main product to Team Message Maker to more clearly identify its key strength.
- Developed a Partner program that not only helps build the businesses of marketing and sales agencies, but also allows us to multiply our reach exponentially.
- Created a cool video that is much better at explaining the value of our product than anything we had.
- Changed our entire website and other marketing collateral.
Without the valuable and sometimes ego kicking feedback of these wonderful people, we wouldn’t be seeing the dramatic increase in product adoption, new partner growth leading to expanded customer usage and, best of all, branding and promotional material that has gone from ‘suck to un-suck’ in a little over four weeks.
Take it from us, seeking the truth can hurt initially, but it certainly makes you stronger and better. As Winston Churchill stated, “to improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.”
Written By: Kristina Johnston, Director of Client Engagement