I don’t mind the new John Lewis Xmas ad. I think it’s good. It conveys the perception they want it to, is on-brand and is well made. I definitely don’t love it or get the emotional reaction I did from the ad 2 Xmas’s ago that had the little boy giving a present to his parents on Xmas day. I watched the ad, dismissed it as fine and then moved on. However, I made one of the most common errors that we all make.

I assumed everyone thinks like I do.

I thought it wasn’t great, so I assumed that was how everyone would feel. It is the most basic error a Marketer can make. The failure to put yourself in the shoes of the customer. It is why there is so much poor advertising out there. Too much marketing that is about what the marketers want to see or where they try to be too clever and forget the purpose is to ensure their customer purchases more from them.

Everything a business does should be with the customer in mind. Jeff Bezos leaves an empty chair in the room each time he holds a meeting. Whenever anyone raises a new suggestion, he points to the empty chair, representing the customer, and asks if it is what they want.

It is clear from reading the press about the John Lewis ad that their customers, and potential customers, love it. They haven’t “won” Xmas, what they have done is likely increase their market share.

Who cares what I like, it is about what “they” want.