Movements and passion

by Kristofer Mencák on October 16, 2008

I just read a post on the Brains on Fire blogWhen is it a movement? – where Spike asks Geno this very question. Geno’s reply:

“A movement starts with the first conversation.”

That means that it is the first person, which means that it could be anyone – influential or average Joe doesn’t matter. Spike continues:

“If that conversation is filled with honesty, transparency, true interest and a LOT of listening, then the first seed is planted. The movement has begun in one mind and one heart. And that’s usually the beginning of something powerful, meaningful and full of potential that gets realized more every day.”

I agree.

But why start that first conversation? I think we’re dealing with passion here. And to get someone to feel passionate about something a company has created, and spark that first conversation, it has to be remarkable. Now we’re in Seth Godin-land. I recommend reading his book Purple Cow, or reading an excerpt here. As he says, “remarkable things get remarked about”.

A campaign can boost awareness of a product or brand. It can generate sales. But in the end, campaigns come and go.

Movements, driven by passion, are long term. They can carry a brand forward, and are always based on a great product or service.

Activities to boost word of mouth just work as leverage – speeding things up. People get to know about the product earlier, communities can form and conversations more easily take place if there are arenas created for it. For products or services that are not so great, activities to boost word of mouth also speed things up.. .. but it goes downhill. The word spreads, and negative word of mouth often spreads even faster than positive.

There is no substitute for a great product or service to get sustainable word of mouth. None.

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