Noise is the enemy of experience.

We have two little girls in our house, who make an impressive amount of noise.

They’re at the age where both are asserting their will, often quite spectacularly. (As a feminist, this excites me. As a parent, this destroys me on a minute-to-minute basis.) Essentially, they’re running two strategies.*

Strategy one, stamina converts.

Kids, as advertisers well know, are masters of pester power. Supermarket trips become endurance events, where you concede the purchase of Frozen cutlery, Paw Patrol lollies or Peppa Pig DVDs just to make the noise stop.

Which is of course the second strategy. Noise matters. The person with the loudest voice gets the cheese cake, the front seat, or the Peppa Pig DVD.

It’s not just in the supermarket where these strategies get a run.

We also see it played out in businesses across the globe. Persistently noisy people have a devastating impact on business performance. On the inside, trench warfare erupts and politics play out to the detriment of strategy. And on the outside, influential customers generate powerful, not necessarily accurate, conversations to the detriment of brand.

As with parenting, the noisier it gets the more it pays to be deliberate. To analyse rather than act. To endure, rather than erupt. Consider these four questions:

  • Whose voices are present in the conversation? 
  • Whose are missing? 
  • What insights do each of these groups offer? 
  • What is the strategic relevance of those insights to our business?

Successful businesses are those who meaningfully and deliberately connect with people, even those with quieter or less dominant voices. In doing so, they generate deeper insights and create a more human experience. And it is experience that future proofs business.

*(Actually there are three strategies, which is to combine both of the above strategies.)

Emily Verstege