Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Thank you Kathy Sierra wherever you are

"Passionate customers" Not "loyal" customers. Not "motivated" customers. Not "empowered" customers. Passionate. Raise your hand: how many of you start your market planning with the question "what can we do to create passionate customers?" or "what can we do to find our most passionate customers?" I don't either. Kathy Sierra's SXSW presentation podcast entitled "How to Create Passionate Users" (Passionate Consumers to Joe Jaffe) started my little mind to racing. The reason is two-fold:
  1. I think this is a great strategy: let's talk to a few customers that have the passion to drive the rest of the market
  2. My employer offers online marketing programs that meet Kathy's requirements for creating passion. More on this below.
Kathy's basic point is that consumers aspire to be and do the things they love. When a company holds out the promise of helping a consumer grow in their aspiration becomes a part of that person's identity. That is when the consumer becomes the vocal loyalist that every marketer seeks. The challenge, of course, it to stay out in front of the aspiring consumer as they grow and learn. Kathy's recipe is this: Show them what the expert looks like, then show them the steps they can take to get them there. For example, you may never be the snow boarder that takes the 30 foot drops or does 720 degree spins, but you can get closer by buying Big Snow equipment. "Come in today for a professional fitting." She credits gaming with exploiting this phenomenon. "That's why they have levels" she states. So, why am I excited about consumer education as a passion creator? Because I work for Powered, and because it fits Kathy's definition for these reasons:
  1. True consumer education employs subject matter experts for each course. These instructors represent the level that students aspire to attain.
  2. There are defined steps to get there. Each course has anywhere from four to eight sessions with specific goals at each "level." There are also progressions of courses, "Digital Photography" and "Advanced Digital Photography" as an example.
  3. A study by Bill Harvey of the results of consumer education bears out that these users are passionate. For example, 65.7% of students will complete a survey during their course. That's unheard of.
At Powered, we talk too much about "Gratitude" and "Loyalty." I think we need to talk about passion more. How to Create Passionate Users

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:37 PM

    Creating Passionate Users is the bomb. I go there first when viewing my feeds. Now I'll visit your site too.


Subscribe and Share