Do you ever find yourself stuck in a back-and-forth changing something as simple as your shampoo? Have you ever asked yourself why you can’t just pick one and move on without questioning yourself? Most simply put: because it’s always a risk.
How do we make our decisions?
We love looking at all our options, and if you’re anything like me, it’s just fun to explore all the tempting packaging. Something colorful, something shiny, oh wait – this one has a bumblebee on it! But at the end of the day, we are constantly being forced to make decisions with an overtone of competition and limited security. You don’t know this brand. You don’t know how it will treat your defiant locks. All you know is that you don’t know, and that can be quite uncomfortable. We are flooded with stimuli and get pulled in certain directions without logical explanation. What is a damsel to do?
You can start by thinking of your consumer awareness as a Wonderball. Do you remember Wonderball? The most exciting candy for kids of the 90s! What’s inside has already been determined, and you’re just waiting to find out what it is. Sure, you can trade or buy the whole carton to find your perfect prize; but at the end of the day, you can only work with what’s already there. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending all your money and leaking chocolate out of your pores.
Studies over the last few decades have shown that our brain relies heavily on emotion and perceived value in the decision-making process. Whether you know it or not (which is kind of the point of the subconscious), your entire catalog of conditioning and experiences is responsible for every decision you make. Only about 5% of anything you do comes from conscious thought.* Even deeper, new theories are suggesting that our only conscious thoughts are half-second delays in “remembering” our subconscious decision.** But, that’s a story for another day.
All of this could explain that uneasy feeling you get when you talk yourself into a decision even when all logic says it’s what you should do. Our minds are in a constant battle between what our hidden self knows and what our conscious mind knows. So, how do you get yourself to stick inside another person’s subconscious framework as a reliable and trustworthy choice?
Consistency, of course (but you already knew that didn’t you?).
What is consistency’s arch nemesis? You guessed it: perfectionism.
When setting your sights on making consistency a priority, you’ll need to train your brain to ignore your desire to be “perfect”. Now, you may be thinking that this approach sounds counter-productive. How could anyone go wrong when attempting to be perfect?
It’s quite simple; no single human being is capable of making everything perfect.
And, by trying to do so, you lock yourself in a box of ambiguous ideals and end up compromising your reliability, authenticity, and productivity.
Have you ever gotten dolled up for a party only to stand awkwardly in the corner because you felt so out of your own skin? I sure have. And the people around me could feel it too. That’s not the message you want to send to your audience.
Your audience wants to know who you are, what you stand for, what you can offer them, your favorite color, and how you take your coffee. Don’t order a double grande nonfat triple chocolate vanilla toffee latte when you really just like a tin cup full of motor oil. You won’t scare off the cappi-latte lovers. If anything you’ll intrigue them and gain their respect for owning who you are. It’s impossible to anticipate and acclimate to what everyone else around you wants you to be. At the end of the day, we all just want to be ourselves and be around authentic people.
Reviews, reviews, feedback; and, oh, did I say reviews?
So, now you know that consistency and perfectionism are a little like oil and water and that people don’t really “know” what they want. But how else can consistency benefit your business? If you’re supposed to focus so much attention on this one concept, there has to be other aspects it touches. While there are countless nooks and crannies to explore, there is one area that really sticks out to us. It’s the valuable opinions of your customers.
When you are consistent with your branding, style, language, and basically every aspect of marketing you can think of; your business is more likely to receive accurate results from customer feedback. Have you ever looked up a product and see a mess of different reviews that leave you wondering what the heck is going on with the company? If you present yourself in a consistent and authentic way whenever possible, the disgruntled Negative Nellies of the world will be more easily read over by future clients.
When I look over a company and see a strong presence and voice that says, “I am me, and here I am!”, and then spot a single review that says, “This company has an identity crisis!”; I will immediately know that it was either a one-off instance (because we are all human) or that the review author was having a bit of ‘a day’. It happens.
Not only will this feedback help future customers, but it will help your business tremendously as well! What better impetus for planning the next phase of your company than customer feedback? You already have their attention, and they are actively involved in your service or product. You should care what they think. I’m not talking about a focus group picking apart every frizz on the head of your stock photo model. I’m talking about real-life human beings who like what you do and want to see more of it. You have every resource at your fingertips for a reliable trajectory, but only if you remain consistent.
Endurance doesn’t happen on its own
I know you may be thinking, “Lady, why do I care what my customers think if I should really be focused on consistency?”; and, the answer is quite simple:
Consistency does not mean you are stagnant. It means you have a clear and decisive way of doing things, and that includes growth. You don’t throw five new lipstick colors on your website one night with a single post the next morning and then set up a 5-week product launch for your spring nail polish colors. You have a plan. You have a flow. You dance to the beat of a very strategic drum. This leads me directly to another wonderful phenomenon that consistency brings:
Enduring the unpleasant.
Life doesn’t always drop the sweetest fruit (although, who wouldn’t mind a few sour gummy bears flying around?). When you are consistent with your efforts and implementations, you are able to pick yourself back up with the grace of an Olympic diver cutting through 32 feet of open air. Let yourself cry under the water if you need to; but the rest of the world will only see the weightless acceptance that life is messy, flawed, and often unpredictable.
You can respond to those negative comments with assurance and poise. Your responses will never come across as defensive or reactive, because you’ll know when and how to own it…and when someone needs to just settle down. You’ll only show your audience that you are… drumroll please…
When you have a strong foundation to work with, everything else becomes much less daunting. You have a structure, a mission, a focus, and nothing can get in your way.
It’s no secret that humans crave consistency. Even the most free-spirited, cliff diving, base jumping individual has routines and comforts. We all have a pattern of how we conduct ourselves and what decisions we make. Why would we offer anything less with our business?
Don’t know where to begin? We get it. Let’s grab that coffee and see where you can fit yourself in with your audience.