I have worked with many companies and I am amazed at how many of them think that marketing is akin to Martha Stewart’s resurrected reputation, the alien landings at Roswell, or the Red Sox winning the World Series. In short, they think it’s magic. I don’t know how many times I have heard, “Can’t you guys just come in and do that word-of-mouth marketing stuff?”
The reality is that the formula is fairly simple. However, the first step can always be the most difficult: creating a cause. Customers will buy products from you, but evangelists buy into a cause or a “higher, holier calling.” This means creating a altruistic vision or “making meaning” as Guy Kawasaki likes to say. It’s a reason for being beyond just making money.
If you truly want to begin the process of change within your company, start by coming up with a cause. Whether it is “daily meaningful activities” like Roaring Springs, or “stick it to the man (a.k.a. Bill Gates)” like you Mac users out there, there has to be something that your customers can rally around. What’s your cause?
I love this. Yes there should be a reason to exist and do business beyond the dollar. It’s not only good for customers, but it’s good for employees too. I recently found a meaning for my business and have put the wheels in motion to execute it.
That is great to hear, Stuart. One of my favorite quotes is from Stephen Covey who says, “treat your customer exactly as you would your best customer because they’ll treat your customers that way. Not when you are there, but when you are not there.” If you create employee evangelists, they’ll help create customer evangelists.