"The four lead Fiskateers attend tradeshows and lead classes in scrapbooking at stores in their regions (and beyond). They build relationships with storeowners. They also have online chats with product developers so corporate officials can feel their customer excitement and passion.
The Fiskateers' enthusiasm and dedication to the program is authentic. "This truly is a movement of devoted crafters just wanting to have fun and share their love," says Stephanie, one of the four Fiskateers."
Why aren't more companies looking to create similar movements to empower and create brand ambassadors?
1 - It's too much work.
2 - It's too damned scary for them to think of giving their customers that much marketing control.
3 - There are too many marketing execs that are either too dumb or too scared to tell their bosses that the company's evangelists can market its products better than they can (That's where we consultants come in).
This is a classic example of what happens when a company joins its community. Fiskars has reached out to and empowered existing scrapbookers to market to their fellow enthusiasts. They could have spent that money on beaming one-way marketing messages at the same audience, but it wouldn't have been as effective, or relevant. If you're a scrapbooker looking for supplies, who has the more credible recommendation, the company that makes those supplies, or the fellow scrapbooker that uses those supplies? Fiskars is reaping the rewards of being brave enough to shift control of its marketing message to its community.
As Spike says, "Want power? Then give it away."
UPDATE: In the comments section, Cheryl, one of the four lead Fiskateers that write for the group's blog adds "Oh my . . . I love being a lead Fiskateer. The relationships built and friendships gained, the memories created . . . all in the name of Fiskateers loving 'all things Fiskars'. It's something I will always cherish . . . my tools, the fun, my fellow Fiskateer friendships."
Notice that the Fiskateers are also actively monitoring the blogosphere so they can respond to what any bloggers are saying about them. Hope all you multi-billion dollar corporations that are looking for ways to better get in touch with your customers are paying attention.
The Viral Garden, Marketing, Fiskateers