How Nectar Drives Real Business Growth With Community
Plus: How A Simple Button Tweak Added Six-Figures To A Luxury Brand, Credible Vs. Sketchy Marketing, and Why The Human Touch Still Matters
Namaste. The temps are cooling, and school’s back in sesh. And we’ve got a full slate this week:
Editorial: Why The Human Touch Matters More Than Ever
The Latest: Good news—expect more spending this holiday season for eCommerce brands
BX: How Nectar Drives Real Business Growth With Community
MX: Credible vs. Sketchy Marketing
UX: How a simple button tweak added six-figures to a luxury brand's revenue
CX: If ‘experience’ isn’t your strategy, you’re doing it wrong
EX: To be a bold company, you need bold employees
DX: Chatbot Benchmarking—How do you know if it works?
Let us begin.
Why the human touch still matters
So, the other day, I was looking at Rep’s reviews on Shopify. 5 stars on all 25 reviews so far. Great.
And as I went through them, I noticed a pattern. Most, if not all of them, referred to the amazing Merchant Success Team at Rep.
Again, humans ftw.
But one review in particular stood out to me. It was from Snow, the teeth whitening solution that’s been featured on Ellen and probably recommended by every dentist. Here’s the unvarnished review, and I highlighted the reason they decided to go with Rep, rather than any of the alternatives:
Rep’s “people-centric approach to doing business.” That was it.
Of course, if you read the entire review, their actual business results are just phenomenal—but they got to that point because of that human touch, or as they put it, the “people-centric” approach to doing business.
“This is the way,” as the Mandalorians say.
And this made me think about the things we all do, in every interaction we have with people, and the impact the smallest gesture can have—not just on your business, or on your relationships, but your life.
Today, I want to break down and atomize that single, meaningful interaction, so that you can replicate it more.
The Human Touch
What’s the purpose of AI and other technology? It’s simply trying to replicate that human touch, at scale. Passing the Touring Test is technology’s attempt to fool another human by mimicking one.
This means that we, humans, are the apex of what all great technology should strive for (this brings me pause as I write it).
We marvel at technology, but we’re no slouches either. The amount of things that a single human can process in a millisecond is staggering, and even harder for us to comprehend.
We really don’t know how amazing we really are—not in the egotistical sense, but in the human sense, because we’re so ignorant of the staggering precision and computational power of our own minds.
Even when we interact with other people, we are gathering and processing millions of bits of data in any given moment.
We rely on this dance to determine whether to work with someone, or not. And it’s the consistency of this dance, not just that strong first impression, that keeps people around.
How do we get the most out of our interactions? The foundation for this comes natural to us, though it’s hardly optimal. It takes work, and deliberate, purposeful action. And knowledge.
The Human Touch Matrix
Here’s a breakdown of a single, meaningful interaction into its four components.
Let’s make it practical. Pretend you’re meeting someone for the first time at a conference.
Personal (The “Who”)
You walk up to someone at an event and introduce yourself, asking for their name in return. This isn't just social decorum; it's the first step in personalizing the interaction.
By sharing names, you're not just acknowledging each other's humanity—you're laying the groundwork for a relationship built on trust and mutual respect. This is where you collect the "Identity Data" in a human-to-human interaction. I’ll explain this later.
Contextual (The “Where” & “How”)
You're at the same event, and you notice the person you're talking to is holding a program guide for a specific panel discussion. You could say, "I see you're interested in the sustainability panel. Are you involved in environmental causes?"
This is more than just small talk; it's an observation that adds context to the interaction. You're using environmental & situational cues (data) to make the conversation more relevant, thereby enriching the interaction.
The “where” of context is obvious. The “how” not so much. But think of it as “how” you’ll approach someone, within the larger context of that relationship.
For example, if someone is a close friend, you approach them differently, given the context of your relationship. You might hug them, or kiss them on both cheeks, if that’s your thing.
If someone’s a stranger, you’re likely to be a bit more cautious. You probably communicate with current customers differently than you do with a prospect who just learned about you. And so on.
Relevant (The “What” & “Why”)
Building on the personal and contextual data you've gathered, you steer the conversation toward topics that are immediately relevant.
For instance, if you've learned that the person is interested in sustainability, you might share a recent article you read on renewable energy.
This isn't just idle chatter—it's meant to deepen the connection (relationship) for both of you by aligning your conversation with shared interests or needs. This is how "Personalized Recommendations" work, keeping interactions more meaningful and engaging.
For Relevant, the “what” is the substance you bring to the interaction—be it a product, a service, or information. It's what you have to offer. The “why” is what makes that offer matter to someone. It's the reason they should care, the value you add to their life. When 'what' aligns with 'why,' you're not just relevant; you're indispensable.
Beautiful (The “X” Factor)
Finally, you add a touch of beauty to the interaction. Maybe you share a poignant quote about sustainability that resonates, or perhaps you offer to introduce them to a speaker on the panel who you know personally.
This is the "Surprise and Delight" element, the unexpected extra that elevates the interaction from ordinary to memorable to unforgettable. It's the emotional resonance that turns a good experience into a great one.
In this way, "Personal" and "Contextual" serve as the data points that inform "Beautiful" and "Relevant", creating a holistic, meaningful interaction.
Personal & Contextual data fuels a Beautiful & Relevant delivery
It's a symphony of elements contributing to the overall experience, making it richer and more impactful.
In next week’s issue, I’ll break each component of the matrix down, so you can see how you can bring this to life in your business.
Let’s get into some news.
Expects robust eCommerce sales this holiday season
Retail sales are expected to jump anywhere from 3.5% to 4.6% compared to 2022, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday forecast.
“We expect healthy employment and income growth to keep the volume of sales growing for the 2023 holiday season,” according to Deloitte’s US economic forecaster, Daniel Bachman.
With inflation tapering down a bit, it would be a great way to finish the year. Maybe that’s why Amazon is asking retailers to stock their inventory for Black Friday early this year.
Google Bard: Now available in Gmail, Docs, and Drive
Bard can now go through your Gmail, Docs, and Drive to help you locate specific information. This new feature, termed "extensions" by Google, allows Bard to summarize emails, highlight key points in documents, and more.
The aim is to save you time and effort in searching through your digital clutter. For now, this feature is available exclusively in English.
More from The Verge here.
How Nectar Drives Obscene Growth With Community
A founder’s worst nightmare: letting the mob, er, um market dictate real business decisions.
But for Nectar Hard Seltzer, this is business as usual.
They regularly engage their 1.6 million followers through surveys, Discord, and text to influence major areas of their business including:
Launch cities? You read that right. Which city should Nectar launch in next? The Chief of Strategy is deferring to the wisdom of the crowd.
For instance, a launch at H-E-B grocery stores in Texas, guided by customer feedback, sold 9,000 12-packs in three days.
Building with community comes with great benefits:
I expect more brands to lean into this strategy over time. You don’t have to go all the way, but maybe start with something small—like product development.
More on this story here.
Instagram’s 3 steps to turn ads to Reels
If you need a little motivation making quick Reels for all your followers, here’s a quick guide from Instagram:
Credible vs. Sketchy Marketing
What makes your products credible? Believable? What can you do to ratchet up your credibility so you win over more customers?
Research shows that marketing tactics like expert endorsements and third-party certifications can boost your product's appeal by 11.7%.
On the flip side, low-cred tactics like paid actors (or paid influencers) can tank it by 15.9%. So, ditch the Kim K endorsements and focus on what really matters to your audience.
More here from ARIYH with some pointers on credible versus non-credible marketing, and why credibility always wins in the end.
Make your website & content more credible, too
Google’s SEO ranking factors revolve around E-E-A-T:
Thanks FatJoe, whoever you are
They’re all getting at the same thing: are you credible?
Experience: Do you have direct experience regarding the topic you’re talking about?
Expertise: Do you have deep knowledge in that subject matter?
Authoritativeness: Are you the go-to source for your audience or community?
Trust: What makes your website trustworthy? If it’s an eCommerce site, for example, does it have a secure checkout and reliable customer service?
When it comes to content, there’s a lot of hot dog content floating around, and AI will only make it worse (not because of AI, but because of the person driving the AI).
And if you want to make your content more credible, more E-E-A-T, then maybe the CRED Framework can help you produce more authoritative content—because everyone is NOT an expert.
When you take on different roles like:
The Reporter (or the expert reporter)
And the Documentarian
...you acknowledge who you are, and the level of “authority” you bring to each piece of content. I believe a clear role will help you perform much better in the long run (and give you more confidence), and get you more credibility from your audience.
Download the image to see the breakdown of each.
How a simple button tweak added six-figures to a luxury brand's revenue
Key Takeaway: For a luxury fashion brand, changing the main call-to-action (CTA) button from transparent to solid-fill led to a six-figure revenue increase over six months.
Why It Worked: The solid-fill button made the next step for customers crystal clear, reducing distractions caused by a busy hero image on the homepage.
The Bottom Line: Make your CTA buttons visible and straightforward to guide customers effectively, without compromising on a sleek design.
More from Blue Stout here.
If ‘experience’ isn’t your strategy, you’re doing it wrong
That’s according to PWC.
Among all customers, 73% point to experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions, behind price and product quality.
Customers are willing to pay more for the experience, and give you more data in exchange. Some more numbers:
43% of consumers would pay more for greater convenience
42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience
65% of U.S. customers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising
73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions
Yet only 49% of U.S. consumers say companies provide a good customer experience today
Even if people love your company or product, in the U.S. 59% will walk away after several bad experiences, 17% after just one bad experience
To be a bold company, you need bold employees
Why have a “fearless” culture? Because a fear-based one prevents people from doing their best work and stifles innovation. That can’t be good, right?
Put another way:
Today, you need every advantage you can get. Your first line of defense, and offense, are your team. Make sure you give them the space they need to be great.
More from Emilia and The Future of Commerce here.
Chatbot Benchmarking—How do you know if it works?
Chatbots are here to stay and they’re expected to go beyond basic self-service; people want more advanced systems like AI-powered chatbots.
However, over two-thirds of chatbot interactions are viewed negatively, often because the bots can't handle complex questions.
In addition to that, more than half of customers see the chatbot experience as a reflection of the brand.
Ouch! @ 9%
As customer expectations evolve, chatbot benchmarking becomes crucial for organizations aiming to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Chatbot benchmarking allows businesses to compare their bot's performance against industry standards or predefined metrics.
This involves evaluating conversation quality, engagement, and customer satisfaction.
More here from Forbes.
Meet the brands reinventing experiences with AR
This is a nice interactive piece from Google. As people come to expect more experiences that blend both digital and physical, there will always be early adopters you can model your experiments after.
Until next week. Enjoy your weekend.