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Overture: Answers to those uniquely human questions

We’ll help you answer those pesky questions that block the connection between your organization and the people you want to help. And help you build connections that last.


How will we do that?


We start with a conversation. We review your history and your data. We talk to people inside and outside your organization. We look for the essential elements that lead to what matters. We look for what people remember that defines their image of you.


We’ve found that…

  • Meaning matters
  • People matter
  • Connections matter
  • History matters
  • Framing matters


More on what matters in a minute.

Marketing is dangerous

  1. No one wants to be sucked into your sales funnel.
  2. No one wants to be defined by your demographic categories.
  3. Everyone knows that advertising is lies based on slivers of truth.
  4. Brand loyalty is over, if it ever was true.
  5. Personal branding is ridiculous.


And when someone says they can provide engagement remember that online engagement is dominated by porn and cat videos.

Obvious, but often forgotten


Think about who you are in the marketplace remembering that your customers are people. People like you…

    – What do people love about you? Do that more.
    – What do people hate about you? Stop doing that.
    – Don’t do anything through technology that you hate having done to you.
    – Make sure your offer is something people need, invite their comments and adjust accordingly. Earn peoples’ invitations to connect.
    – Never interrupt people’s comments. Learn from every step of your relationship with them, just like you do with those close to you.
    – Know what trust is, and be trustworthy.
    – Remember it’s never about you. It’s always about the people you help.
    – And if you do make that all-important connection, then and only then will people want to know more about you.
    – The more real you are, the more human you are, the more others will want to connect with you.

The human touch matters at Overture


Meaning matters.
People find meaning and a sense of purpose in things that add value to their lives and to the lives of others. We see this behavior all around us from political figures and ideas that strike a meaningful chord to products that help us define ourselves with others.


People matter.
Sounds like a cliché. And it is. Everything we do is observed, examined and accepted or rejected by the people we want to help. So think first and foremost about the people and how what you do is good for them. Look for anything that seems to contradict your basic goodness and get rid of it.


Connections matter.
People talk. We’ve been talking for hundreds of thousands of years now. Social media and our devices may be the latest thing but our need to connect is as old as we are. Use your ability to connect as an opportunity to have a conversation, one that supports your relationship with the people you help.


History matters.
There is an awful lot of talk about the power of story. And the fact is that we are the “Storytelling Animal.” (A great book, by the way.) But it’s history and the power of our reputations over time that make story so important. We love to gossip. Gossip is the social lube that determines who’s in and who’s out. Who is behaving appropriately and who’s not. Our behavior over time forms our history. And it’s our history that people judge us by. So yes to the importance of story, but it’s our history that is the foundation of our story.


Framing matters.
Success lies in how concepts are framed with language. Framing is used to encourage understanding in a manner that supports how you help others adds relevance. If your language or what others say about you strays from the frame it weakens your relationship with the very people you want to help. The key is to be very aware of what others expect of you and to stay within that frame.

Understanding analytics


The good thing about customer data and technology is we have more ability to see and understand than ever before.


The bad thing is when the customer data and the technology becomes visible, think of those annoying pop up ads. When people feel intruded upon or spied on, or the relationship feels non-human it’s creepy. Most marketers today don’t seem to understand that when people become aware, they are being manipulated by technology they begin to disengage. No one likes to feel as though they have been tricked. They may stay as customers, but only as long as they don’t have a choice.


Remember, we’re all people. We’ve always wanted to be involved. But now our attention is through devices. Our attention shifts with a click or a scroll at the speed of light.

– Every second millions look for answers.
– Every second millions look to be entertained.
– Every second millions wonder what’s next.


Someone somewhere always has a better price.


It can be depressing. Sadly, marketers often get so caught up in the current language and methods of the trade that they forget that everything is actually about what people really say, feel and think about you.


To maintain your relationships you must think of them as relationships with meaning. The kind of connection you have with those closest to you. In a way the connections between organizations and people can be thought of as intimate relationships. Relationships in which revealing the organization’s vulnerability can become an asset.


It’s rewarding

At Overture we look for the fundamentals of your organization’s existing relationships with employees, customers and clients, and apply the insights to gaining and maintaining future connections. Success lies in the basic need for a human touch in everything we do.

Two examples of that human touch
(Overture admires these examples, we didn’t participate.)


In 2008 Starbucks was struggling and closed something like 1,000 stores. The company decided to reach out to customers for help. And in a way they revealed their vulnerability in the process. They used social media and asked people to contribute “My Starbucks Idea.” Over 90,000 ideas were shared via social media and raised page views per month to over 5 million. Starbucks implemented more than 100 ideas. Starbucks rarely uses advertising, preferring to use word of mouth and their stores to reach and maintain their very human connections with people.

Pabst Blue Ribbon sales had declined from a high of 18 million barrels to less than 1 million. At the low point they discovered that the young adults in Portland, Oregon were their only growing market. When asked why they liked PBR the answer was the lack of offensive advertising, the no-frills image and low price. PBR became known as the “hipster’s” beer. To spread the word to other communities similar to Portland they began to sponsor indie music, local businesses, facial hair clubs, dive bars, radio shows and local sports teams, building close relationships with their best customers in the process.


Interested? Send us an email.

Jessica Knapp, PhD
Writer, editor, educator and communicator. With data analysis, strategic planning and healthcare expertise.
Contact Jessica

Miriam Walsh Lisco
Designer and brand strategist. With positioning and packaging expertise.
Contact Miriam

Ted Leonhardt
Writer, designer and illustrator. Coupled with creative leadership and positioning expertise.
Contact Ted

Laurel Wilson
Architect, conceptualizer and visualizer with expertise in design at multiple scales.
Contact Laurel

Don Young
Marketer, strategic planner and creative director. With deep retail and corporate communication roots.
Contact Don

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