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March 10, 2011
The 5% Solution: Ignore Them
Every time your organization makes a change, launches a new product, or creates a new event, it stands to reason that you alienate 5% of consumers. The Frustrated 5%.

The Frustrated 5% don't like change. They want everything to stay exactly as it is. Or, they may have wanted something to change, but not the way you did it.

It's only 5%, so not really a problem, right?

The challenge is that this particular 5% always seems to be the most vocal. The silent majority is never as loud as the vocal minority.

You have thrilled 1,000 consumers but it's the 5%, about 50 or so that you will hear from. You have outraged them and they will let everyone know.

So, what do you do? Should you modify for the Frustrated 5%? Do you alter your plans so as to not upset them? Can you? Is it possible to do something and not outrage any 5% of consumers?

You can spend a lot of time, money, and effort to delight everyone and offend no one.

Will the outcome ensure that all 100% are satisfied? Probably not. More than likely, you will go through a lot of effort and only create something that doesn't offend anyone because it goes unnoticed by everyone.

Instead, focus on your Brand Advocates. Go out of your way to give your loyal consumers what they are looking for from you. The advocates want to be a part of your tribe. They want to spread the good word about your greatness.

Give them a reason to advocate on your behalf. Give them something to believe in. Be different and realize that every comment you get from a member of the Frustrated 5% means that you have done something right.

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Jaci Russo is a co-founder and senior partner of The Russo Group, a national branding agency located in Lafayette, LA. She is a brand strategist with experience including strategic planning, consumer insight, brand management, national product launches, and media management for clients in a cross section of industries. She speaks to organizations across the country on the power of branding, changing the conversation, message training, and how to brand through social media.

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