Wednesday, February 09, 2005

B2B Customer Communities

Douglas Atkin has made it onto my radar tonight courtesy of PDG Graphics Karmazone. There's more to come on the "Ten Easy Steps" of "Successful Culting." If you can set aside any negative connotations that the word "Cult" has, then you will realize that a customer community is a manifestation of a cult. It has a culture. I understand the definition of a cult to be two or more people with similar beliefs. In an article on Big Frontier, Steve Lundin interviews Atkin about his book The Culting of Brands. Since my background is in B2B marketing primarily, I'm always asking the question "Can customer communities be built around typically unemotional enterprise solutions?" Here's an excerpt:

SL: can the cult approach to branding relate to B to B brands and B to B marketers, especially in those un-exciting industrial categories, or is it purely a consumer brand phenomena?

DA: Good question. There is no reason for it not to apply to almost anything if you can have a brand which manifests some kind of distinctive thinking or belief system. You could be manufacturing some pretty ordinary widgets but if you can say 'we make these this way because we believe these things to be true' and you build a group of people who are buying into the same idea then there's no reason why you can't.

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