When I was a kid, we only had four TV stations. When we wanted to watch something on television, because there were only those four stations, we didn’t have a lot of choices. In fact, I remember when the fifth TV station came out. It was such a big deal because we had a fifth show to choose from when we wanted to watch TV.
Today, how many choices do our ideal customers have when they have an extra hour? Instead of sitting down and picking between five TV stations, they have an unlimited amount of choices. With so many good choices out there, how can we get our customers to choose us? Today, I want to talk about passion marketing, a strategy that can help us become a number one priority for our ideal customers.
Being Good Isn’t Good Enough
Did you know that the popular streaming channels combined have just shy of 20,000 movies available on demand and 6,500 TV shows available? Watching everything on Netflix would take around 36,000 hours or in other words, about four years of binge watching Netflix.
Those who love podcasts have 850,000 active podcasts to choose from. Not to mention more than 30 million different podcast episodes. That doesn’t even consider YouTube. YouTube has more than 500 hours of videos uploaded every minute, and that statistic is as of 2019. I’m sure even more videos are being added today. On Amazon there are more than 350 million products that people can search through and buy.
The bottom line here is that with every extra hour and with every extra dollar that our ideal customers have, there’s a thousand good things to do with that extra hour or that extra dollar. I’m not saying everything on the streaming channels or on Amazon are good but from the millions of choices, there are definitely many good things our customers can choose from.
Consumers have access to more things to do in the next hour than they could ever do in a lifetime. Being good is no longer good enough. In the past, people would build their businesses and create their product first. They would build what they felt was a good product and then they’d go try to find a market for it. But that model isn’t working because we’re competing against thousands of other good things.
We are in a business landscape where we have many businesses that have good products. They’ve spent so much time and effort and money building good products but they’re having a hard time turning those into sales. So what’s the solution? Over my career, I have found that the solution to this is something I call passion marketing.
Learning Passion Marketing
The first time the concept of passion marketing really hit home to me was when I was working for a consulting client, Family Link. Family Link had a Facebook app called “We’re Related.” That app grew to, I believe, 90 million app installs and was the fourth largest Facebook app.
Family Link also had a Facebook page titled, “I love my family.” At the time, this was very interesting to me because most businesses would give their Facebook page the name of their company brand. Most people would assume they would call their Facebook page Family Link, but instead this company gave their page what I call a passion statement as the title.
“I love my family” is something that millions and millions of people around the world are very passionate about. It is what I call a level 10 passion. I believe, at the time, they had four or five million people that had followed their page, likely because they connected to their customers’ greatest passions.
The reality is that people aren’t very passionate about our brands, but they are extremely passionate about how our brands can help them with the things they’re passionate about, such as their family relationships. After learning this concept and seeing this in action at Family Link, I decided to apply it to a consulting client I had, Azul Airlines.
Azul Airlines was a startup Brazilian airline that I had the privilege of working for, with David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue airlines. At the time, I was in charge of helping them develop and roll out their digital strategy. One of the things we did was create a Facebook strategy. We created 100 different Facebook pages with different passion titles and we tested them out. We put a little bit of money behind each of those pages and we found which ones actually performed the best and generated the most engagement.
Of those 100 pages, we found four of them that outperformed the others. So, we turned off 96 of the Facebook pages and we focused our efforts on four of them. The ones that did the best were ones that evoked very strong passions amongst the Brazilian travelers. For example, one of the best performing Facebook pages was called, “I love Brazil.”
These pages became so successful that I believe, at a time, half of all of the followers of Facebook were following our Facebook pages, and we had tremendous reach. This was one of the factors that helped Azul grow. At a time when I was there, I was told they were the fastest growing airline in aviation history.
While there were a lot of other very important things that contributed to that success, I believe that this strategy contributed to that. We connected with Brazilian travelers through the passion they had for Brazil and traveling.
What is Passion Marketing?
In passion marketing, I like to use a passion meter to measure the level 10 passions of our customers. It’s a scale that goes from zero to 10, with zero being something that I couldn’t care less about and 10 being something that drives my life. We use this passion meter to rate our customers’ passion and find their highest level passions.
Once we know our ideal customers, then we build our whole business around our ideal customers’ passions. We create our products, our marketing messages, our channels, everything, around our customers’ level 10 passions. It’s a strategy that has proven to be extremely effective—finding what is driving the lives of our ideal customers and building everything around that.
One thing I want to point out is what passion marketing is not. A lot of times when I talk about passion marketing people think that I’m saying follow your passion, and this is actually the opposite of that. I’m not saying it’s unimportant to follow our passions. If we can find and create a business that we are super passionate about, that’s great. There are lots of advantages to spending our life and our time doing something we’re extremely passionate about. However, that is not what passion marketing is about. It is the opposite.
Instead of first following your own passions and creating your businesses and your products around that, find what your ideal customers are most passionate about and build your business around that. I have found that in my career, we’re much more effective when we are customer centric.
So, how do we do that? What are the basic steps? That’s what I plan to dive into further every Wednesday at noon in our live streams. However, as a basic guideline, we first should determine who our ideal customers are. We then have to do surveys and focus groups of those ideal customers to identify their level 10 passions. I use something called the Five Whys method and it’s a strategy that was developed by Toyota originally to find core reasons why problems were happening on assembly lines where you ask “why?” five ties. Once we know our customers’ passions, we can then implement it in every aspect of our business.
Nike: Just Do It
In the late 1980s, Nike was really struggling and they were losing a lot of ground to Reebok. Through a fortuitous series of events, Nike, with their ad agency, came up with the passion statement, “Just Do it.” They may call it their slogan or tagline, but they nonetheless used what I call a passion statement.
Nike didn’t focus on their shoes. They didn’t use their ad campaign to tell their customers why their shoes are so much better or why their shoes are more durable. It wasn’t a product centric ad campaign; it was appealing to the level 10 passion of their customers. Nike appealed to their customers’ passions of achieving their goals. You want to win the championship? Just do it. You want to achieve your weight loss goal? Just do it. This ad campaign became iconic.
Nike increased their share in the domestic sport shoe business from about 18% to more than 43%. That’s from $877 million worldwide to $9.2 billion worldwide in 10 years. I believe they gained this growth by focusing on the passion statement of their target audience.
I would encourage you to brainstorm and think of what you believe are the level 10 passions of your ideal customers. Then, try to find ways you can implement those more into your business.
Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
- Consumers have access to more things to do in the next hour than they could ever do in a lifetime. Being good is no longer good enough.
- Passion marketing can help us connect to our customers and become a number one priority.
- People aren’t very passionate about our brands, but they are extremely passionate about how our brands can help them.
- We will have more success as a business if we start with the customer.