Taking the internet by storm, Ylvis’ “What does the fox say?” video has been viewed over 107 MILLION times in the past 5 weeks. The sensation has spread globally, and as early as this morning, they performed the hit on the Today show in New York City.
But, what the Norwegian duo claims was meant to be a joke– an “anti-hit that backfired”– actually does bring to light some of the true characteristics of a fox– which parallel the definition of a “customer fox,” defined by Holden as the customer individual at the center of influence within a customer “Power Base.”
Let’s take a closer look.
The premise of the video is that the sounds various animals make are often well known and documented (e.g. cows “moo,” cats “meow,”) – but, what does the fox say?
Much like the mysterious, quiet nature of a fox, the Fox of a customer Power Base also exerts his influence in a very quiet nature– he prewires decisions, is rarely surprised by events, and maintains high integrity.
Foxes in nature are not “cunning” or “sly”, but rather strategic. They manage their environment. For example, if a fox in the wild were to attract fleas, most other animals would take a direct approach and scratch, allowing for wounds and more infection. However, a fox — in its strategic nature– will observe the fleas’ weakness, and notice that they don’t like water. So, the fox will take a twig and go for a swim. As the fleas crawl up and over his nose and onto the stick, the fox simply releases the stick and emerges from the water a flea-free.
In a customer organization, a Fox is quiet and strategic as well. So, how do you know what the Fox says? Make some astute observations, and you’ll find them! Are they shown subtle acknowledgements of respect? Do they exert influence outside of their department, division, or business unit? Have they worked in exception to company policy? Small observations, along with research and good questioning, can help you not only find the corporate Fox, but also uncover what it is that they want for their organization. Understanding the Fox’s views will enable you to provide more value to the Fox’s organization. But this is difficult — remember, influence is not visible, but the exertion of influence is. You just need to know what to look for– and you’ll be able to tell “what the Fox says”!