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Newsletter #943: The “Make Great Connections” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Loyal fans and brand advocates are more than just customers — they have a special connection to the company they care about. To make these connections, companies have to think beyond just spending ad dollars to get everyone’s attention. They have to have a deep knowledge of their customers, make them feel like a part of a community, and give them something to get excited about.

Here are three examples from a vacuum maker, tech giants, and a 126-year-old brand:

1. Understand their personality
2. Bring them on your team
3. Celebrate their culture
4. Check it out: Hipster Ipsum

1. Understand their personality

Cat owners understand “kitty litter floor spread” — and Bissell understands cat owners. That’s why, to sell their carpet sweepers, Bissell showed up in the places where cat parents congregate, like conventions and pet stores. Then they began quietly demonstrating how their stuff worked over and over again by sweeping up “cat litter art.” According to their strategy’s theory, cat owners often act like their pets: watching from a distance and deciding to interact only if they’re interested. That turned a traditionally unsexy product into something worth talking about in the cat owner community.

The lesson: It may not have worked for dog owners, but by setting up an approachable, low-key environment, Bissell showed cat owners that they get them.

Learn more: Fizz

2. Bring them on your team

When hackers find a bug or a glitch in a company’s website, it makes that business vulnerable to all sorts of trouble. So to turn that potential problem into an opportunity to earn new fans, some companies like Google and Facebook reward hackers for reporting these issues when they come across them. That’s a great way to crowdsource quality control, but it’s also an interesting way to put customers on your side. Now, those hackers who could have taken advantage of the bug are rewarded for their good deed instead, making them feel like a part of that company’s community — not a threat to it.

The lesson: What incentives could you offer to turn your potential adversaries into advocates?

Learn more: PCWorld

3. Celebrate their culture

Glenfiddich is a hugely popular Single Malt Scotch in Scotland. Why? Because they’re all about Scots. Honoring artists in residence, sponsoring the Highland Games, and giving awards for traditional Scottish crafts are all ways the company uses their brand to promote Scottish culture. (Recently, Glenfiddich famously gave their Top Scot award to the farmer who wouldn’t sell his land to Donald Trump to build an exclusive golf course.) By making their customers’ cultural pride a part of the Glenfiddich brand, they earn word of mouth as well as trust and respect from their customers.

The lesson: How can you put a spotlight on what makes your customers great?

Learn more: Scotsman

4. Check it out: Hipster Ipsum

Tired of using the same Lorem Ipsum dummy text? Here’s something different you can use to test your design, but you’ve probably never heard of it.

Check it out: Hipster Ipsum

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