We had just hired a new advertising agency to help rejuvenate the brand of our chronic back pain therapy. I had been sitting in a meeting with several agency team members. After a couple of hours where I and a few others described how the therapy worked and talked about the outcomes, the science behind it, the competition and the main messages and positioning, we broke for questions.
“Wow,” said the creative director. “That is cool. You guys are doing amazing stuff!” And between the lines, that team communicated a kind of respect for our corporation’s work.
Enthusiasm is refreshing
Was this enthusiasm real or feigned? Yes. The agency had already been hired, so there was no need to pretend. And since advertising agencies typically run on spirit, the comment was not unexpected.
But neither was it expected. Whether real or fake, the creative director’s enthusiasm hit home. It was a refreshing meeting in a sea of corporate meetings ranging from dull to throat-slitting painful. Life in a medical device company—like most any company—can seem like slow-motion meetings followed by mad rushing to fulfill promises before the next slow-motion meeting. During that rush, you forget your company does something exceptional.
I’ve sat on the other side too, where the product manager tells details and shows outcomes. Even if they start subdued with facts and charts, their excitement grows as they talk through the story. A good creative team picks up on this excitement because it is contagious. New and possibly extraordinary things happen when every team member gets the contagion. But it cannot be an act: feigned excitement is hard to translate to the customer.
Take time to be amazed
An amazed creative team can become a set of cheerleaders, which makes the internal champions of the product feel surrounded by allies—especially when the cheers are in the language their customers speak. But the amazement has to be real. The key is to find the amazing thing.
Every product has the potential to amaze, especially products in the med-tech realm. Companies are finding innovative ways to treat difficult health problems and improve people’s lives. When we take a moment to consider the time and effort invested in these products and how they are changing lives, amazement can come naturally.