Make people feel good

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
— Maya Angelou, poet and civil rights activist

Brands like Tesla, Virgin, Apple and Starbucks focus on making people feel good about the relationship with their products, services, and employees.

Howard Schultz’s vision for Starbucks wasn't about coffee but the feeling he wanted people to have when they walked into a store. The design, smells, and sounds are created for the romance and theatre of coffee, to put coffee at the center of conversation, and evoke a sense of community. 

In creating the Apple Store, Jobs and his team reimagined the entire retail experience. They started by asking, "how do we want customers to feel when they walk into the store?" They focused on feelings first. The Apple Store went on to become America’s most profitable retailer. 

When people learn something new in an atmosphere where they can relax and are made to feel better, they make a stronger connection and form a pleasurable memory. Feelings are powerful. They influence decisions, choice, opinions, relationships. 

Focusing on making people feel good translates to simple situations like having a chat or working closely with someone. I try to imagine how I can behave to give the other person an uplifting, entertaining and useful experience. I want them to feel good about their time with me.

It's about paying attention to the little things rather than making grand gestures. I recall coming home from work one day to inspect the results of my new house cleaner. She'd cleaned thoroughly and that's what I expected for my money. A surprise was the pointed end folded into the toilet paper, like they do in hotels. That was a nice touch, which put a big smile on my face. She's still with us today. Such small gestures come from being thoughtful. They conjure feelings in the recipient of appreciation, respect, joy, trust and affection, which all help make a relationship.

Mother Teresa reminds us that "we can’t all do great things, but we can do the small things with great love." And we would all do well to learn the lesson in Maya Angelou’s quote—people will never forget how you made them feel.