We all make mistakes, especially as we go about the day-to-day of building and growing our businesses. But the true sign of a leader is when you can learn from those mistakes to end up with a solution that works better for everyone involved.
Earlier this summer, Kim Kardashian-West announced her new shapewear line and promptly received an avalanche of backlash. The problem was the name: Kimono. Many accused Kardashian-West of cultural appropriation of the iconic Japanese garment.
While initially, Kardashian-West mentioned she wouldn't be changing the brand name, eventually she decided letting go of Kimono was a smart decision. The good news for her is her fans gave her a new name that worked well.
My fans and followers are a huge inspiration to me - I'm always listening to their feedback and opinions, and am so grateful they shared their ideas for a new brand name. After much thought and consideration, I'm excited to announce the launch of SKIMS Solutionwear pic.twitter.com/3bV5MwblDr-- Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) August 26, 2019
By taking feedback from her customers, the serial entrepreneur now has a brand that is even better positioned for her upcoming launch than she was a few months ago when she initially announced the line.
Co-creating with your customers is always good practice. Here's why.
1. It gets your customers more invested in your offering.
Any time I have the opportunity to participate in the creation of something, I feel a sense of ownership. I want to see it succeed, so I work to support it as best as I can.
It's the same with your customers. When they have a say in the products, services, and experiences you deliver to them, it gives them a sense of belonging and connectedness to what you're offering.
Besides, when you let your the people you serve have a say in what you produce for them, it helps you ensure you are giving them what they actually want to buy, rather than what you think they do.
The more your customers see that their feedback is not only received but incorporated into what you produce, it gives them all the more reason to engage more with you.
2. It shows you how to focus your resources.
Often times you have a million things to do. But when your customers tell you what things are most important to them, it gives you a sense of focus. In addition to feedback on the name, Kardashian-West's fans and followers expressed their desire to see more plus-sized models in her marketing.
Thus with the announcement of the new name, Kardashian-West showcased a new photo of her shapewear with a broad range of body types, including plus-sized women. Had her customers not given her insights on what was most important to them in their journey to get on board with the new brand, she and her team might have focused on something that was less important or insignificant to the people she's serving.
Getting started co-creating with your customers can be as simple as asking questions on social media, sending out surveys, or even bringing in a few of them for a brainstorming and feedback session.
The key is to continue to stay connected with your customers over time and to listen intently when they have something to say about your brand and how you can better serve them.