Customer Journeys and the Balance of Power: Avoid the Dark Side

1 Minute Read

Be warned there are some dark ideas lurking out there where the attention has become so fixed on the road the customer has got left far behind. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

“Wars not make one great”

Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back


Some discussion about customer journeys has slipped into a dark debate about power and control, as if customer journeys are roads brands want to own.

For one, we now live in a world without roads. We have gone way, way beyond the channel. This isn’t even omni-channel. Stop swimming in streams or driving down roads. We’re now exploring open space.

Secondly it’s not about power. It’s all about trust. You need to enable customers to find their natural path with your brand otherwise you’re heading into dark times.

And in the words of a wise one: “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back.

If you hear a Marketer talking about control, orchestrating or shaping journeys, pulling or pushing customers anywhere, or any hints of forcing a customer down a prescribed path, then these are signals of Black Hat practice. Pull back. While you still can. Since when were your customers made out of play-dough? In fact, when did you ever want to be pulled or pushed or shaped? Bully brands will have a short life in a world where customers want to manage their own journeys. These days, consumers will not show bully brands any mercy (can you hear the Zzzhwooo Zhwooo of their lightsabers?)

Your relationship with your customer is not a power struggle or tug-of-war. If you think you can manage and promote a customer’s journey like it’s a product it suggests you think that you can still control and own a customer. It’s a complete own-goal. It should be about brands and customers living in harmony.

To really deliver long-term value, richer engagement and have deeper relationships with customers, you have to understand it’s the customer’s journey, not yours.

Don’t believe us?

“That is why you fail.”

Yoda, Empire Strikes Back.