Fiskars makes scissors. Scissors that are pretty popular with scrapbookers. So Fiskars and Brains on Fire decided to go into the scrapbooking community, and find members that were using Fiskars scissors in their scrapbooking. After identifying these community members, they then created the 'Fiskateers', a group of brand ambassadors for Fiskars. Then Fiskars set these four Fiskateers, Stephenie, Holly, Cheryl, and May up with a website and their own blog. There the Fiskateers blog about their crafting and scrapbooking projects, how Fiskars products are helping them complete their projects, and life in general. And they blog quite often, in fact Holly posted an entry while I was creating this post!
Why does this work? Spike from Brains on Fire explains:
I’m blown away. Sure, when we first set out to create a community/movement for kindred spirits for one of our clients, we knew – that with a lot of hard work that involved rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty (in a great way) – that something special would happen. And the key part of the movement was to find those passionate people, give them the online and offline tools and opportunities to talk to one another (and also reach out to potential kindred spirits) and then get out of the way. Sure, we expected a lot of things to happen. But even in its infancy, it’s gone far beyond what I ever imagined.
Now – unprompted – these passionate advocates are creating their own marketing tools. They are stepping up and taking ownership in an international brand. They are personalizing something that used to be institutionalized. And they are coming up with ideas that the brand – or even (gasp!) Brains on Fire wouldn’t have thought of.
And I’m in awe.
It started with a company that was willing to gain more power in its industry by giving it away.
And this is just the beginning for them.
Two words stood out for me as I was reading the above, 'passionate' and 'community'. Who are the marketers here? The Fiskateers. Not Fiskars.
Why does that matter? Because the Fiskateers are marketing to the same community that they are members of, and that they are passionate about. This means their wants and needs are the same as the people they are marketing to.
That's incredibly powerful. As Spike said, all it took was Fiskars being smart enough to find these passionate community members, then empowering them to market for them.
That's it. As the title of Spike's post says 'Want Power? Then Give it Away'.
Bonus: Brand Autopsy has more background info on the Fiskateers.