Sparks of inspiration will make you Famous!

How do you make your company truly consumer-oriented? By bringing their voice literally into your office! Our Everybody Famous community is up and running for over more than six months now and it appears to be a great example of how engaging with and listening to consumers can lead to better advertisemnets. Short recap: Famous is the first advertising agency to connect with consumers by having a ‘consumer consulting board’ or an ongoing online research community (MROCs). Each week questions rise on how to translate a clients’ wish for advertising into something that truly means something to consumers. By communicating to them in the most appealing way, a beautiful relationship (with as end goal: a satisfied customer!) starts.
But how can you relate with your customers if you don’t really know what their concerns, emotions and habits are? And what about the other way around: how can they have that special connection with you if you are not open for sharing too?

Famous relates with the consumers of their clients by giving them the chance to tell stories. Real stories with real emotions leave their marks throughout the whole company and create little sparks of inspiration. Strategic decisions about the positioning of a brand can be inspired by a single surprising quote from a participant. Creative solutions are being challenged constantly and even a storyline can start from a totally different angle just by just a tiny suggestion from a consumer. We as community managers have the task to create an environment in which participants are comfortable with sharing these stories.
How do you get people to trust you, share emotions and real-life stories with a brand and 150 strangers in an online research community? Here are a few tips:

  • Sharing is caring: you can’t expect your participants to share if you are not sharing too. From moderator to company: everyone has to open up. Let’s take the Everybody Famous blog on the community as an example. No distant messages or announcements from an ivory tower: CEO Marc Fauconnier welcomed our participants, creative mind Frederik shared his point of view on the community and Famous moderator Margriet opened up about her choice to work in the advertising industry. Not only are the consumers present in the office through the community, pictures and stories from inside the company also bring Famous into the consumers’ living room.
  •  Give something back: why would consumers keep on sharing their experiences without knowing what it is actually worth? Feedback is crucial. Every week someone within Famous tells the participants about the effect of their contributions on decision-making processes within the company
  • Walk the talk: Of course you would like to know certain answers to certain questions. But how will you get the best output? Ask your consumers! We organized a chat session about new community techniques based on feedback from the participants in a community topic. A proactive attitude already can already handle problems before they arise.

 And what do you get? Inspirational stories that will change your way of thinking. For Nutritia’s Olvarit Ingredient, a special babyfood range, we asked our participants about their typical meal moments with their child (in Dutch):

Het is nu middag: Olvarit moment! Potje opwarmen en dan je kleintje in z’n stoeltje zetten en hem laten eten. Lekker mondje vol en overal Olvarit: rond de mond, op de handjes en op het slabbetje. Beetje afkuisen nadien maar geeft niet want je kind geniet van zijn maaltijd.”//margriet.

Another participant posted some pictures of his child completely covered with jam: a real life snapshot from a happy meal moment. This pictures and the quote inspired Famous not to use the typical ‘perfect baby’ in their advertising for Olvarit Ingredient but rather a happy ‘dirty’ baby. With success!
Or what about Neckermann? In several topics we discussed the image of the popular travel company. The attractive pricing of their travels was seen as the most distinctive and positive factor. Neckermann decided not only to focus on this element in their communication, but to apply a low price strategy in the whole decision process. These are only a few examples of how ‘sparks of inspiration’ can truly make a difference and get you closer to your consumer… Start right now!

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