All Articles Marketing Brands & Campaigns Spike Jones’ 11 Lessons to ignite a fan community

Spike Jones’ 11 Lessons to ignite a fan community

2 min read

Brands & Campaigns

At Gaspedal’s Word of Mouth Supergenius conference in Chicago this morning, Spike Jones outlined a few lessons learned from Brains on Fire’s work with Fiskars — the orange-handled scissors company that has successfully ignited a crafters movement.

Spike’s basic premise: Don’t talk about marketing campaigns (us v them); talk about movements (we’re in this together).

  1. Movements are not a product conversation, they are a passion conversation.  In the case of Fiskars, it’s not about the scissors, it’s about what people DO with the scissors.
  2. Movements begin with the first conversation. As you’re creating products, ask your customers what they think.
  3. Movements have inspirational leadership.  Passion cannot be created but influence can.
  4. Movements should have a barrier of entry.  Skin in the game is important.
  5. Movements empower people with knowledge. Brains on Fire taught “Fiskateers” how NOT to be sales reps, but rather how to be ambassadors, transparent in everything they do. This includes talking and blogging about their own lives.  That’s what hooks people and brings them close to you and your brand.
  6. Movements have powerful identities. We all want to believe in something bigger than ourselves. It’s marketers’ jobs to fill in the blank in customer’s identity statements, “I am a…”
  7. Movements encourage shared responsibility.  Build something like it has to live forever and you’re going to run out of money tomorrow.  This way, you will spend less and less money as the movement grows.
  8. Movements make advocates feel like rock stars.  Listen to people, love on them. To make Fiskateers feel connected with the brand, Fiskars created a limited edition pair of scissors with uniquely colored handles and blades engraved with each Fiskateer’s number.  And the crafter blogs went wild.
  9. Movements live online and offline. 90% of WOM happens offline.  It’s important to get people together offline.  In terms of b-to-c, customers want STUFF.  In b-to-b, business people want KNOWLEDGE, often in the form of best practices.
  10. Movements move the needle.  Measure your WOM success in terms of online mentions, and how much *less* money you’re spending on focus groups, advertising and product development.
  11. Movements fight an injustice.  What is your injustice? What are you or your products fighting against?

Bonus: In closing his whirlwind fans-on-fire session, Spike referenced this seduction of cults whitepaper. Fascinating stuff, all this.  People have been buzzing about this session all day long.