This is a repost from the archives of my old SeattleDuck blog (RIP), which suffered a no-backup database death a few years back. Fortunately it seems I was auto-reposting my blog feed to Facebook at the time (2006), and thanks to the joys of Facebook Timeline I was able to recover the text of one of my favorite blog posts ever.
Originally posted Fall 2006, when I was still at Microsoft. Reposted today as I still think this applies to any project I might be working on and I’m looking for a bit of inspiration (note the Blackberry reference…old school):
We had a meeting today where we debated some of the key goals for an upcoming community initiative, including the usual suspects:
Reducing support costs
Boosting net satisfaction
Acquiring new users
Ken Levy was there – he cut through that and locked on to the real manna: “We’re trying to build passion.” Wistful thoughts of Kathy Sierra immediately passed around my head. [2012 update: Kathy later blogged about this post here]
But that got me thinking – what does “passion” boil down to? Where do you begin? Kathy and Dan have many more eloquent and well constructed thoughts on this on this, so I figured I would bring it down a notch on the maturity level, away from any hint of intellectual discourse towards a raw, gut feeling:
That’s where passion begins. Those are the words I want every user of my product to utter. Ideally followed up by something like:
Dude, you have to check this out. It’s so f**king cool!
I don’t want their reaction to be a measured, rational, dispassionate analysis of why the product is better than the alternatives, how the cost is more reasonable, feature set more complete, UI more AJAXified. I don’t want them to pause to study the boring feature comparison chart on the back of the box.
I want f**king cool! Period.
I want that pure sense of wonder, that kid-at-airshow-seeing-an-F16-on-afterburners-rip-by-so-close-it-makes-your-soul-shake reaction, that caress-the-new-Blackberry-until-your-friends-start-to-question-your-sanity experience. I want an irrational level of sheer, unfiltered, borderline delusional joy. [2012 update: I'd like to think I predicted here the emotional reactions that Apple would inspire from 2007 onward…The iPhone after all was just a few months in the future]
That is where passion for a product starts. Yes, it only gets you so far, and then actual product quality, support, stickiness, strong community, etc come into play. But true passion begins with the two most wonderful words a marketer can hear a customer say:
A bit of news on the personal front: Today is my last day as Director of Strategic Innovation with Ignite Social Media. As of next Tuesday, November 1st, I’ll be joining the team at Pace Communications (@PaceComm) as Director of Digital Strategy.
Working at Ignite for the past two years has been incredible, both in terms of the daily experience and the insane growth and change the agency has gone through – such as growing 4x in staff count and picking up ridiculously cool clients like Samsung, Microsoft and Chrysler, among many others. I have no doubt that their already impressive client list will become even more enviable as time goes on.
I also had the privilege of working with insanely smart and funny people and getting a crash course on how social media marketing for large brands is *supposed* to work. Throw in all the behind-the-scenes stuff that truly makes Ignite Ignite - like Mystery Trips (Jamaica anyone?), Nerf wars, sarcastic Yammer threads, pups in the office, out-of-context quotes, inspirational and occasionally disturbing brainstorms – and it all adds up to not so much a job as a slightly crazy and very inspirational home away from home.
All of it has been wonderful, and all of it will be missed.
Sometimes however a great opportunity pops up that you just can’t pass by, and that’s the case with Pace. It’s a combination of the right team, role, timing and circumstances that’s making this move happen, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to get started.
Content drives conversation, offline as well as on, and as a content marketing agency Pace is in a unique spot to help companies spark and nurture conversations around their brands, products, experiences, and communities. I get to help drive and shape those efforts across both digital and social – all in all, it’s a pretty cool challenge.
As a bonus, Pace is located just a few minutes from my house, shrinking my daily roundtrip commute from nearly 3 hours to less than 20 minutes. My wonderful, and very patient, wife and kids will get to see a whole lot more of me in the near future (ready or not!).
I’ll share more here and on Twitter (@kevinbriody) as I settle in. Thanks again to everyone at Ignite, and to my future colleague at Pace I’ll see you next week!
Photo by delphwynd via Flickr an CC License
Watching Rory McIlroy implode on the back-9 of The Masters on Sunday, a simple thought occurred to me: If he plays it right, this guy is marketing endorsement gold! (That and “Good Lord, please let the agony end!”)
Last night I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with a group of students from Elon University’s Ad Club (AAF). As part of my talk I shared a few simple tips and bits of advice around social media to help new graduates entering the PR/Ad/Marketing client and agency world. Grab the slides if you like, or read on for some extra commentary.