I can’t think of a better way to kick off a book that’s not about today’s latest buzz word or tomorrow’s new shiny object, can you?
My friends over at Brains on Fire know better than most that it’s about people. They are the experts behind some of today’s notable and successful word of mouth movements. Their new book, aptly titled “Brains on Fire” (written by Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church, and Spike Jones), graciously shares ten lessons when it comes to creating and sustaining a movement.
Movement? You’ve Lost Me.
Most marketers think in terms of campaigns. The problem with that thinking is that campaigns are short-term and are usually created with one purpose in mind: lead generation. Once the funnel is full and sales stops complaining or the sales quota has been met, it’s time to move onto the next campaign and product or service push. Come on; tell me you don’t live in that world? Say no and I’ll call you a fibber.
Campaigns are not sustainable. They burn out quickly. And with marketers pre-conditioned to think in terms of campaigns every new cool tool or trend becomes a new reason for yet another boring campaign.
Campaigns rely on traditional media (even social media) where cash buys the platform to talk about oneself in order to create awareness. Movements rely on word of mouth where others talk about you and real passion can’t be bought.
A movement is not a trend.
According to Brains on Fire, “A movement elevates and empowers people to unite a community around a common cause, passion, company, brand or organization.”
If this sounds like social media to you, you’d be wrong. Read on.
Lessons in Creating Movements
“Marketers have been brainwashed,” says Brains on Fire. The Four P’s, The
Value Props, The Out-of-the-Box Thinking, The Processes…
Ouch! But they are right. While I am a marketer that loves theory (heck, I teach it!) my head hurts from thinking about how truly programmed I really am. Does yours?
And that’s why we all need to read this book! I won’t give away all of the brilliance that lies between the covers, you’ll just have to snack on the below list of movements until you pick up a copy. But I will say this book will forever change how you feel about marketing and your customers (or stakeholders or clients or whoever it is that you are passionate about).
Without further ado… 10 Lessons in Movements:
- Movements Aren’t About the Product Conversation; They’re About the PassionConversation
- Movements Start with the First Conversation
- Movements Have Inspirational Leadership
- Movements Have a Barrier of Entry
- Movements Empower People with Knowledge
- Movements Have Shared Ownership
- Movements Have Powerful Identities
- Movements Live Both Online and Offline
- Movements Make Advocates Feel Like Rock Stars
- Movements Get Results
Yeah, Movements Sound Cool But What About Making Money?
The BOF book covers many word of mouth movements, but the one movement that I refer to over and over is Fiskars and the Fisk-a-teers community. Why? Because it’s sustainable, it’s about people (i.e. customers, stupid!), and because they haven’t gone out of business yet by being customer-centric.
Get it? You CAN be customer-centric AND make money. Seems like a no-brainer, but so many organizations struggle with this concept.
If you haven’t heard about Fiskars, I’ll make it short and sweet for you (get the book for an in-depth look into the Fiskars word of mouth movement).
- Product: Scissors (the orange-handled ones we all love)
- Value Prop: Boring
- Movement: Scrapbookers
- Result: A community of over 6,000 evangelists
- Value to Fiskars: New product ideas, loyal customers, revenue
Is Your Brain on Fire?
When is the last time you were passionate about your customers? Seriously, I mean passionate. You know the kind of passion that makes your brain burn with ideas, thoughts and solutions that just won’t go away or the high that you get from seeing some monumental happen. Yeah, that kind of passion.
At the end of the day we should all have passion for one simple thing: Our customers.
[Disclaimer: I was provided an advanced free copy of Brains on Fire, devoured it in two days (rare for me), and learned a heck of a lot more than I knew the two days prior. I can only recommend buying this book if you are tired of your marketing campaigns not working, you are open to new ideas and you aren't looking for a pretty book to fill up your bookshelf.]