people around us speak loud, read, share ( since Friday May 17th, a share costs 38 US dollars, if we are talking for Facebook shares...), create and are more or less active on what we call "online world".
Compared to the past couple of decades, people now have so much acess to information, news, data and case studies that if one were to describe back then an ecosystem like what we currently have, it would be treated as pure science fiction. We are literally , holders and creators, listeners and participants, users and opinion makers all at the same time.
This drives us to start feeling, or believing that we have an opinion which might be better than other peoples'. And because human beings love to be with winners, as we observe our opinion become part of something bigger, perhaps a small element of a trend, we start believing that not only do we have an opinion but that this opinion is of key importance to the ecosystem.
This drives us, to become more and more fanatical regarding products we use (i.e. apple owners believe that they are of superior callibre ), more dedicated to our habits and of course even more commited to what we can refer to as "a hard to change habit".
Of course this is not bad! Brands love people dedicated to them, firms do everything possible to create or buy audiences who have no ears for anything else except what they address to them, and we love to be recognised as people who belong to a winning group.
Therefore it becomes a major challenge for firms or brands outside people's comfort zone to penetrate that field. and the ensuing question is, how can a brand gain fanatical audiences' attention?
Like all challenging tasks, something like that requires time, dedication, a good plan, a well executed plan and of course flexibility. An easy to adopt and adjust strategy to what people say about your effort and how they react to your actions to gain their time.
An easy but really short term method is to make a blast through an action which works much like fireworks. The brand gets the attention it asks for, however it must be accompanied either by a ground activity in order to keep people's attention or more and more fireworkswill be required. This is an acceptable practice but not a safe choice, because either the brand will quickly fade from people's attention, as repetition is the mother of boredom ,or the company depletes their budget. After all, fireworks cost lots of money
So, we note that an easy way to attract people's attention is like fireworks!
A firework action which must be followed by an activity.An activity with a roadmap to go, with a well designed action plan, specific steps to follow and of course really well described KPIs.
Actions and measured results will on one hand, keep the brand on a safe path and on the other ,the creative team will be able to react to any kind of audience's behaviours. It is really important for the team to understand, to feel and to LISTEN to what people have to say, what they share about this attempt , what they retained and the most importantly how they feel.
People who are really dedicated to a firm, or who are fanatical with a brand, will most of the time feel unsafe, or inconvinient if they try something new, something which they might resist against. When a consumer tries a product which was not in their experience map, once he dares to do it, the consumer expects the brand to make him feel special, a front line runner, or at best a member of a distinguished team outside the mainstream.Having well documented KPIs set, works like a compass in muddy, shallow waters.
KPIs give the brand all the necessary tools to adjust the campaign to what the addressed fanatic needs. The team responsible for the project should be able to hear and feel how audiences reacts to what the brand attempts.
A campaign, a product launch, an icon making process should be something really dynamic having stable and strong reference points and the ability to change on audience requests and needs. And here is where the magic happens. The audience no matter how fanatical, if the brand reacts and meets their needs and requests it transforms them into a community.
And although it is really easy to buy an audience you can't buy a community. You have to build it. Once the brand succeeds to have its community built, then it can start talking about its fanatic audience, an amazingly responsive and dedicated audience which can unfortunately be easily lost. In order to retain the fanatical product following you must keep providing and feeding the audience's needs for safety, innovation and the most importantly their need to feel unique and exceptional.