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The Current

Mind Control

Struggling to stand out in the crowded eComm marketplace? You need a Flying Knee Kick.

What do Mixed Martial Arts and digital marketing have in common? A lot more than you might think. VOLTAGE CEO Eric Fowles recently had a chance to sit down with American Mixed Martial Artist Brian Rogers to talk about what it takes to win in the ring.

Break the pattern.

Meet Brian Rogers (aka “The Predator”) and his famous Flying Knee Kick

The idea of the Flying Knee Kick came to Brian one day in the locker room. While he started MMA in 2008, he studied kinesiology in school and understands how our bodies react to different movements. He realized that if he were to jump toward someone’s face, their natural reaction would be to duck down – creating a window of vulnerability where Brian could sneak in the unexpected move.

In the ring, the Flying Knee Kick disrupted the expectations of Brian’s opponents and ultimately landed Brian some pretty sweet KOs.

Break the pattern, win your customers’ attention

If you’re out there just going through the digital marketing motions, you’re missing a huge window of opportunity. You have to break the pattern – do something different.


When you break the patterns customers have come to expect, you create the opportunity to capture attention and leave a powerful impression about your brand, product, and mission on existing and new customers.

What kind of Flying Knee Kick will you bring to the marketplace?

To help you think about disrupting the patterns of your marketplace, here’s a list of Flying Knee Kick-inspired strategies to add to your eComm playbook:

1. Lean on what you know (and care about).

In a world where it seems like everyone is just trying to make more money, it can feel a little radical to put people, the environment, or a cause first. But trust us, the rest always follows.

“Leaders who care more about changing lives than they do about selling products tend to do a good bit of both.” – Donald Miller

  • Be a “Force For Good” and support an aligned organization your customers care about.
  • You’re heard it before, but we’ll say it again: People over profits. Always.
  • Never sacrifice the quality (or integrity) of your product.
  • Look at your industry critically to find pain points, inefficiencies, or squeaky wheels that could use some reinventing.
  • Don’t forget about your team. While you should be regularly asking for their input and ideas (the best ideas can come from anywhere!), make a point to ask them what they care about, too.

2. Listen.

Believe this: You’re not here to sell something, you’re here to invest in your customers’ journey. Don’t believe it? Your customers won’t either.

  • Talk to your customers and get actual feedback about their experience with your product or service. A quick-and-dirty way to do this is by “going undercover” and cruising through online reviews (Yelp, YouTube, and social media are great places to start).
  • Take someone’s negative experience and explore what it would take to solve their problem – it might be a problem no one else has solved.
  • Speak like a human (real over perfect). While this may not seem radical, it’s surprising how many brands forget – and how refreshing it is to encounter the ones who remember. A little humility never hurts either.

3. Surprise, delight, and celebrate.

Brands often balk at the cost of implementing a surprise & delight strategy. Yes, it can be difficult to measure a clear ROI, but done right, your returns in lifetime customer loyalty and engagement will pay off without question. And it doesn’t have to break the bank!

  • Celebrate and reward birthdays and membership milestones.
  • Partner with a competitor to serve the market/community you share.
  • Slip something extra in your shipments. A great way to get started with this is to empower your customer service team to go above and beyond, send flowers, and offer concierge-level, highly relational service.
  • Partner with a competitor to make something bigger happen. Talk about surprising!
  • Take your out-of-the-box transactional emails and inject personality, add resources and education, or just have fun getting nerdy about whatever you get nerdy about.
  • Invest in personalization across your CX (customer experience).
  • Think about the experience you want to deliver on your ecomm site. Why should people order directly from you vs. going to Amazon or a big-box store?

4. Reframe.

You’re not selling a ____[product], you’re selling a ____[philosophy/way of life]. For example, if someone starts a subscription to your health-related product, celebrate the step they’re taking to live a healthy life and continue to support them with free resources, intuitive add-ons, and helpful upsells.

One of our team members was recently geeking out about a surprise & delight package she received from a cause-based organization. Inside: A T-shirt – but the message wasn’t “here, rep our cool brand!” it was “here’s a uniform for peace-making.” (Credit to @PreemptiveLove for that bit of genius.) What a warm and fuzzy reframe.

5. Iterate (and iterate some more).

If you can keep the mentality of continually learning and improving, you may not ever “arrive” – but you sure will win.

  • Build listening periods in to your roadmaps. Listen to your customers, to the marketplace, and listen to your team – they’re likely to have close insights into areas of opportunity.
  • Invest in A/B or split tests to see what works and pressure-test your theories.
  • Launch new products. Try something new that’s a complementary offering to what you already provide. Test a “base model” or entry-level product, or launch a luxe version. Or go wild: Silly, crazy ideas can get some crazy attention – and just plain delight your loyal customers.

Let’s go.

In a world of endless opportunity, buzz, and distraction, it can be hard to keep things that actually move the needle in focus. You could go another round doing the things you’ve been doing… or you could find your Flying Knee Kick and bring it to the ring.

BTW, are you following us on LinkedIn? We’d love to hear about your wins – or whether you’re stuck and need some juice. Connect with us here >


VOLTAGE is a digital agency specializing in eCommerce, digital brand experiences, and web apps. Get emails and insights from our team:

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