What Does Your Customer Hate?


During conversations with fellow business owners, we often hear the phrase: “I avoid being negative.” Or, “I hate to be negative.” And that’s fair; but we would argue that energy requires both positive and negative ends in order to flow effectively, which is why we think “being negative” can actually serve a purpose. After all, sometimes to bring out the sweet, you need a little salt. 

So, if you were to consider what your customer sees as a negative, what might that be? What does your customer hate? 

To offer up some examples:

1.) We hate the idea of child slavery; therefore, we only buy chocolate from Tony’s Chocolonely - the only chocolate company actively trying to remove child slavery from the cacao equation rather than profit off of it. 

2.) We hate retargeting, or excuse me, re-marketing (new terminology to remove the sting). So, we often choose not to purchase from companies that follow us around the internet. 

3.) We hate being lied to; therefore, we avoid publications, advertising, and programming that do just that. 

Those are simple examples; but even if you were to, say, buy a evening gown from Zac Posen’s atelier, you may hate mass produced gowns. In contrast, you may love gowns that are produced the old fashioned way. Or, you may hate quirky comedy, greatly preferring entertainers, writers, or even companies to get to damn point already. Even better, you may hate stouts and IPAs, but love Pilsners and Wheat Beers. 

For every love, there is a contrasting hate. 

For every positive, there is also a negative. 

For instance, AirBnB solves the issue of people needing affordable housing while they travel. That’s a positive. But if this service is actively used in a certain community, such as the French Quarter in New Orleans, it can lead to skyrocketing rent prices and very unhappy neighbors, leading the service to be banned. That’s definitely a negative. Or consider Uber. The positive is that it’s easier than ever to hail a ride. The negative is that former cab drivers, who once considered their profession to be a livelihood worthy of pride, are committing suicide on the steps of City Hall because of Uber. 

For every action is there an equal and opposite reaction. 

Consider both when thinking about your customer’s wants, needs, and problems.