Creating 'Holy Crap' Moments That Make Fans Feel Alive
January 6, 2014
Radio has some of the most active and loyal fans, but all too often we underestimate the impact we can have on their lives. We tend to spend more time with fans on a hollow, superficial level – touching them in bulk with caller #10 type transactions – and less on those moments that make them feel like they matter.
And by doing so we miss the real win - hacking our way, every day, to try and personalize their experience with our brands.
Those experiences trump empty transactions, always.
But that mindset won't be fully embraced until we stop looking so much at scale and what fans can do for us and rather what we can do for them.
The core tenets of brand building are really about serving one fan at a time (or even a smaller fragmented group of fans at a time).
Howard Schultz,. President and CEO of Starbucks, puts it so perfectly in his book, Onward. He admits Starbucks lost its essence around 2006 by soley focusing on growth and scale - straying from "serving one customer at a time."
Schultz writes, "A well built brand is the culmination of intangibles that do not directly flow to the revenue or profitability of a company, but contribute to its texture. Forsaking them can take a subtle, collective toll."
Every brand needs a soul. Otherwise, you're just a commodity, something fans can get anywhere else.
Consider the following examples.
Had any of these folks been so bent on the notion of scale and return rather than serving, all of these moments would have been missed:
Like the "Christmas Miracle" WestJet video that got passed around last month.
With over 34 million views, you may have already seen it. It was a moment that mattered to only a small number of customers, but the larger opportunity proved to be a boost in West Jet's influence.
But creating exceptional moments doesn't always have to be about spending money and giving out gifts.
There's also something very moving about simply offering your time and undivided attention.
We've seen artists like Dave Grohl, Bono, and Trent Reznor acknowledging fans - one at a time. And most recently it was Beyoncé making a fan's dream come true by singing and dancing with her at her Las Vegas show:
There are also the employees at Modern Window Cleaning in Grand Rapids, MI.
They came up with an idea to give young patients at a local hospital a Halloween surprise each year by dressing up as super heroes:
You can also look at NFL teams for inspiration in treating fans well. One experience that offers more than any contest could was started by legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi and is still carried out to this day.
Every year, at the start of training camp, it's tradition for Green Bay Packers players to give the fans a ride to practice on their bikes (or just ride alongside the fan if they chose as seen below). It's their time for a little one-on-one with the players they admire:
And as narcissistic as Kim Kardashian is perceived to be, even she is known to be extraordinary with her fans.
Last month, when Kim noticed a fan tweet her before Kanye West's concert – she did something only fans dream of. She invited her to join her in the VIP section:
Ultimately, Myleeza not only met Kim, but Kanye, too, and posted it via Instagram:
What's exceptional about all of these moments is that they weren't "empty transactions" – contests or canned moments.
They were "holy crap" moments that make people feel alive. They make people feel like they matter – like they are being seen and heard.
There's not a greater resolution you could make for your brand in 2014 but this:
Never miss an opportunity to be good to people.
The world is drowning in substandard behavior.
How can you stand out (and make it count) in the New Year? What kind of experiences can you offer fans who freely give you their time and attention?
On behalf of Jacobs Media, I hope to see you at the Worldwide Radio Summit April 3rd and 4th in Los Angeles.
It's always a great experience.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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