Deep Fans and the Top Down vs. Bottom Up
I mentioned in my last post the idea of going deeper with customers.
I think this also works in other ways for your brand as well. It works for your employees, your founder, your shareholders.
In fact, if you’re seeking to #MakeFansNotCustomers, probably the best place to start is within your own company.
Social media has changed the way people buy. They buy because it is trusted, reviews are off the charts, it's cool, innovative, “other.”
They don’t buy because you had the prime spot on NBC last night or the best positioned billboard on the highway. At least not only because of that.
They buy because their buddy wore their hat and they’d never heard of you before. Call it #StreetCred call it #WordofMouth call it #BrandLoyalty, call it whatever you want. People buy because there is an army of thousands (reviews on Amazon) or 1 (their best friend telling others about it on Instagram).
Do they buy because a celebrity endorsed it? Sure, maybe. (I can’t really argue with whatever the phenomenon that is Kylie Jenner’s empire has proven to be now that she’s approaching $1billion).
But primarily, we trust our neighbor, our boss, our pastor, our blogger that we follow that seems to have it all.
I saw this directly in Hollywood.
When Disney released Tangled, were they putting up posters everywhere, paying for ad spots, and pushing through traditional channels the announcement of its release date? Sure.
But they were also flying influencers out to their lot to give them a first look. They were hiring companies to fill pre-release screenings with people who had a platform to “spread the word.”
Top down. Bottom up.
Both matter, but one carries more weight than it used to. Especially today.
Any brands that become like good friends that we want to stay in touch with give us the best of both worlds. They aren’t always necessarily “bottom up” only, but they never feel top down. They feel like a friend gently reminding how much you miss seeing them.
Brands that take the bull by the horns, that insist that everything should be bigger, louder, more intrusive. Well they lose. They didn’t invite us into their story. They didn’t invite us to be a part of telling their story--which is what makes us the truest fan of all, of course. You set yourself apart by feeling like you personally get to share their story.
If you love something-- a car, an artist, the way a company operates--and they come to you and say "We want you to be our brand ambassador" would you feel honored? Or would you feel interrupted, taken advantage of? They key to a great brand is to be one of the ones that has already invited you into their story in a way that the answer to that question is a no brainer--honored.