Kevin Kelley, the founding executive editor of Wired Magazine famously said that creators need only 1,000 True Fans to make a living. Refuting the idea that, in order to succeed in cyber times, you must have a never-ending long tail of buyers, readers, and whatever-ers, Kelly’s point was nothing short of revolutionary.
Others have riffed on the 1,000 True Fans theory. Seth Godin of Permission Marketing fame suggests that you alter what you do and how you do it so that 1,000 true fans is sufficient for success. Ryan Lee, a gym teacher turned web guru, says it best: that you should give 10 times the value your community expects from you.
Which is precisely what one of my branding clients, Forest Meadows Apartment Homes, is doing. Forest Meadows is a multi-family complex located in the historic town of Medina, Ohio, halfway between Cleveland and Akron. Despite the region’s charms, the housing market - including the multi-family industry - has been hard hit by the recession. Never one to settle for status quo, Managing Partner Bob Gura came to us for creative branding ideas to give him a competitive advantage in a tough marketplace.
Bob was already upgrading the property with amenities like lush landscaping, granite kitchen counter tops, high-speed Internet access, lighted fountains and ponds, and much more. My team’s job was to showcase all these improvements so that prospective tenants – as well as current residents – really got the Value X 10 that Bob and his staff were providing.
One of the first things my team did was create a new website that brought the brand up to date with more robust content, new photographs, pet-friendly offerings, online tenant services, and a listing of neighborhood vendors. One of the most important features, however, was the strategic use of testimonials. Nothing, and I mean, nothing is more powerful than a testimonial from a happy customer.
In fact, I’m proud to share this great testimonial that Bob gave our team.
With the recent re-launch of the new and improved Forest Meadows site, the property is poised for further growth. And so is the website since it’s built to evolve along with the brand, just as yours should.
Think about your brand and ask yourself…
- What are doing to create value for your community?
- How do you increase that value tenfold?
- Who are your brand evangelists, that is, your 1000 True Fans?
If you give value x 10, they will come!