Following on from my recent interview, The Age of the Customer – Interview with Kerry Bodine about her new book Outside In, today I’m very excited to share with you an interview that I recently conducted with Alexis Dormandy, Founder at LoveThis, about his new venture: LoveThis, the place to find your friends recommendations on everything from restaurants to builders. Founded in 2010, and launched in 2011, LoveThis helps friends find the things their friends recommend in over 30 countries around the world.
This interview makes up number twenty-eight in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that I think that you will find interesting and helpful in growing your businesses.
Below are highlights from our interview:
- Huge amount of corporate experience launching and growing businesses for Virgin Group and Orange.
- LoveThis, his new venture, is a way of ensuring that you never forget a recommendation again. You can check out at their website: LoveThis.com and get the iphone app here.
- Allows people a way of remembering recommendations that are made to them as well as a way of sharing with friends those things that they find, be it books, restaurants or whatever.
- What the application provides is a meritocracy for businesses in that the best businesses should win and be shared the most.
- So, if you are a business that has a great product or service getting recommended or shared on LoveThis can help your word of mouth spread much much quicker. Great example in the interview of an Italian food importer that sells a lot of great Pesto because of this.
- Many small business use overt and subtle techniques to fuel their word of mouth and the trick is striking the balance.
- They know, however, that much of their business is driven by word of mouth.
- What LoveThis does is put the power in the hands of the customer and does not force word of mouth on the customer. It makes businesses focus on producing a great and sharable product, service or experience that is worth being talked about and is sharable.
- Launching a new business is hard but the key is to prioritise things.
- Whatever you do make sure that your first priority is making sure that you have a great product or service (one that the customer wants) because after that everything else is running downhill.
- It is very rare that we find companies that produce great products and when we do find them then it is incredibly easy to talk about them and share them with our friends and contacts.
- People want to share their moments of joy.
- So, make sure you are giving your customer a moment of joy.
- Prioritising also applies in marketing where many business do 15 things a little when they would be better off doing one or a few things a lot or a lot better.
- Alexis took a very different approach to spreading the word and developing LoveThis and did a lot of research around different people all around the world who would be able to help spread the word or help with development such that he ended up with a short list of 15 people that he believed had buckets of common sense, could add a huge amount of value and could imagine a very different future.
- When he reached out to them by whatever means and sent them a very well researched and prepared email or note, he got a 75% hit-rate.
- Given that we are now bombarded with something like 45 newspapers with of information per day, the very targeted approach can be very effective in cutting through the noise.
- Everyone should check out one of Alexis’ most popular posts at his blog at The Telegraph: Businesses still don’t ‘get’ social media – and it’s 40-year-old marketing directors that are to blame and our discussion about it around 15mins into the interview.
About Alexis (taken from his LinkedIn profile)
Following training as a doctor and a first job at McKinsey, Alexis spent the big part of his early career at Virgin where he ended up as a Group Director. His main responsibility was all of Virgin Group’s new business launches including Virgin Mobile and Virgin Active which he sat on the board of for a number of years.
Since then, he has been VP Consumer and Chief Marketing Officer at Orange; and spent 5 years investing and advising various companies in Europe. He was also European Chairman of RED, the AIDS charity founded by Bono.
More recently he has been returning to things entrepreneurial as Chairman of Wattbike, the worlds best (and he’d say only decent) indoor fitness bike; and as Founder and CEO of LoveThis, the place to find your friends recommendations on everything from restaurants to builders.
Thanks to Semio for the image.