They’ll Have a Fit if You Cross Them

Organizations and businesses strive for brand advocacy from supporters and customers.  Billions are spent on marketing, great service, facilities, training and development all for gaining “that edge” where the person migrates into the realm of advocacy.  We measure our brand sentiment on social media.  Sentiment for crying out loud!  Guess you can call me “senti-mental”.

Then there is that line.  The line where it gets kind of weird — where brand advocacy becomes cultish fanaticism.

There are a couple of fitness franchises that I really admire that have ignited this cultish fanaticism.  Facebook timelines and Twitter streams are filled with check-ins, photos, scores, results of participants and events.  Personally, I love it — there are people I love whose lives are being changed by these places, they do great work.

If this phenomenon is brand obsession it can be a frightening place for an organization or business.  Are they one policy, rule, rate, format, program change away from disaster?  Could the religious fervor turn against them with a misstep or would it be forgiven?

One thing is certain — people seek, recognize, praise and pay for results.

Could it be as simple as delivering results for individuals again, again, again and again?

Yep, I believe so.  And creating a community around it.

The focus needs to be on the results desired by our donors, members, and customers which don’t always align with ours.  Lay those results in the framework of a supportive and active community and voila — super advocates.  Once we start, we can’t stop and must nurture the community with a fervor that matches theirs or we risk making them very, very cross.

I’ll likely write more about this as I am absolutely fascinated by it — and think I’d be scared if I were in the midst of anything like it.