I recently received an email from someone who questioned the wholesome motives behind starting a movement and claimed it was really just praying on unaware suckers. No that’s called advertising and sales. Starting a movement isn’t a side thing you do to draw attention, it’s a complete shift in how you communicate with your customers and how you position your company. You no longer just sell things, instead you are here to change your corner of the world & make peoples lives better with your solutions, resources and information. Your products and services are part of that solution but now the scope of how you interact with your customers and the world has dramatically expanded. You are no longer just a supplier, manufacturer or business –you are the expert, the game changer in your market. Starting a movement based on your own genuine story and passion is about something real. Not everyone will “get” your passion and the purpose behind what you do but the ones who do will instantly connect with your message and never let go. Are there any loyal APPLE followers out there? If you don’t think Steve Jobs at Apple has a movement then you really don’t “get it” because Apple only has loyal followers, the “I love only Apple and will never have anything else!” followers. Followers that brag and brag and brag about their “iwhatever”. It’s irrelevant if you agree with them, the Apple movement is big.
Starting a Movement isn’t separate from your business. It is how you market, sell, advertise and promote what you do. It’s integrated into your business DNA. Everything you do has your movement written all over it. So it’s a method and strategy not a gimmick to suck people in. It’s also not a “mission statement” that’s filled with empty promises and lacks complete dedication to it.
The typical marketing and sales message lacks real emotion, the message is usually about value, features and how you’re stuff is better than the other guy–even if it’s not. Starting a movement means, instead of selling sports shoes your passion is about helping all people know what’s it’s like to find a shoe that fits better than any shoe they’ve ever had and help them become the athlete they always hoped they could be. Taking this approach means yes, you want to sell shoes but you want to sell the right shoe to the right people. Because you have a passion for this, you offer education on improving your customers’ athletic performance and you donate shoes to local schools’ sports programs. You call your customers athletes and your employees trainers because your focus is on your movement not just your product. You can’t fake real passion because it will come through in everything you do. On-lookers will see that you don’t just say you care, you really act on it. Passion is infectious, if it starts at the top it trickles all the way down.
If this seems a bit “pollyanna” for some of you then you haven’t really seen this approach in action. How about the CEO who put his cell phone number on all packaging because of their passion to have the freshest cereal on the market, if it wasn’t fresh he said, “call me” (Me and Goji Cereal). Or what about the technology company who decided to share all their secrets on how to run a successful company and how they produce their project management software just to help educate their audience & customers–did I mention they’re a multi-million dollar company? (Company is called 37 signals)
There are hundreds of examples that illustrate how this approach works. The focus is the opposite of deception, it’s about being transparent to your customers and proving to them daily (not just in your mission statement) that you have a passion for what you do. Frankly, if you don’t have passion, then you need to find something else to do because if you’re not passionate about what you do, I can assure you your customers and employees will lack passion for what you do also.
For those nay-sayers I challenge you to stop your marketing and sales as usual. Ask yourself, why do I do what I do? We all work to make money, so to pay the bills isn’t an answer. The real question is why do you do THIS work and not something else?