How I use a method acting inspired framework to help clients achieve success.
Method acting, known informally as the Method, is a range of training and rehearsal techniques, as formulated by a number of different theatre practitioners, that seeks to encourage sincere and expressive performances through identifying with, understanding, and experiencing a character's inner motivation and emotions.
Some of the most famous on-screen performances are a direct result of actors able to fully immerse themselves within the psyche of their characters. Some of the stuff that you hear out of Hollywood borders on being flat out unhealthy/crazy. But perhaps this is what is required to achieve success at the very top end of the talent spectrum? For Taxi Driver (1976) Robert DeNiro worked as a taxi driver pulling 12-hour shifts in New York and for Raging Bull (1980) he fought in three genuine boxing matches. Health Ledger pushed himself physically and mentally further than he ever had for the role of the Joker. From isolating himself for over a month to becoming heavily involved with makeup and wardrobe decisions for the character, Ledger put in every effort to set his performance apart from his predecessors. This extreme effort took a toll on the actor, leaving him exhausted and sleep-deprived.
At Tekni, we pride ourselves on our uber high touch systems and we take pride in our ability to go deep into the customer experience, to the point of being a little bit fanatical about it all.
The reality is that when working with a startup brand we are often working from a very low base of understanding of “what works”, “what sells” and “why the brand exists”. Answering these questions correctly and quickly at the start of a client relationship is utterly essential. Whether we truly understand what the hell is actually going on from a customers perspective and how they are interacting with the brand at every level can make or break our clients business. Our role is really really fucking important when working with such businesses.
Putting this in practice
For Tint paint we literally painted our own apartments, our warehouse, spent weeks and weeks up ladders, covered in paint. We personally used every single one of the paintings in our quest to really understand what it means to DIY. We worked with the client to actively build a photography studio in their warehouse, we learned about how paint is made, how colour works on different surfaces with different light, did a deep dive into the industry, understood how the paint market is structured globally. We worked in their customer service centre, spoke to customers on the phone. The list goes on.
Method actors have fully immersed actors "forget themselves" in the sense that they actively ignore facts about who they are, temporarily subordinating their own thoughts and feelings to those of their character. If you truly give a shit about your clients, you’ll go to the extremes to help them achieve success. I do not suggest that you develop an unhealthy obsession with your customer and their business, but get pretty close if you really think you’re going to make a meaningful impact on their business.
Here are my top 5 tips and tricks for delving headfirst into a brand and why it works.
1. Be the customer
2. Consume the product
3. Work directly with the founders and understand their purpose and why they created there business
4. Consolidate this into a really slick customer journey map and ensure everything lines up on the business plan to match this.
5. Have fun doing it.