52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.
In order to allow in-depth exploration of sometimes complicated or multi-faceted marketing concepts, the articles in the 52 Fridays series have been organized into ‘topic buckets’ such as photography, working with the media, marketing collateral, and so on. This last dozen posts in the collection will be a Potpourri bucket of some of my favorite tools, tips, ideas, and resources, the things that just didn’t fit anywhere else but that I find myself going back to again and again.
To kick off the Potpourri section, I wanted to share with you a book that was printed back in 2003, but that is even more relevant today with the focus on social media as a horsebiz marketing tool.
Published back in 2003 when Ben and Jackie were still in Chicago (they’re now in Austin, TX), this inspiring book takes a look at companies that people find so compelling they’ll go beyond being just customers…they become a ‘volunteer sales force’ that helps drive the financial success of the business, because fans will go out of their way to expose others to what they love about it.
Let’s face it, even in this age of ‘Like-ing’ this and ‘Share-ing’ that, it can be a long, hard slog to create a business that attracts passionate customers that will sing your praises to all of their friends, family members, and coworkers. However, time after time we’re told about how powerful ‘word of mouth’ is, and it’s especially true for the equestrian community, where news often travels widely via face-to-face conversations, online forums, and Facebook sharing.
What Creating Customer Evangelists does is take a look at a selection of companies that have created products and experiences that people go gaga over, companies like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (ok, did your mouth just start watering too?), Southwest Airlines, the Dallas Mavericks, and Build-A-Bear Workshop, and distill their practices down into six basic tenets that anyone can apply to their own business.
From inside the book jacket, the Creating Customer Evangelists six tenets are:
- Customer plus-delta: Continuously gather customer feedback.
- Napsterize knowledge: Make it a point to share knowledge freely.
- Build the buzz: Expertly build word-of-mouth networks.
- Create community: Encourage communities of customers to meet and share.
- Make bite-size chunks: Devise specialized, smaller offerings to get customers to bite.
- Create a cause: Focus on making the world, or your industry, better.
This is also a strategy used by Apple, so it’s no wonder their former ‘chief evangelist,’ best-selling author Guy Kawasaki, wrote the Foreword to this book. And, don’t be fooled by the bargain prices you’ll find if you buy it now at Amazon.com; I say it’s worth many times what you might actually pay for an eight-year-old book, because the ideas and information it contains are timeless.
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