Having worked at a bank and earned a degree in finance, the term “Chapter 11” immediately throws up a red flag in my mind. But the Chapter 11 I’m referring to here is not about Bankruptcy or financial distress. I’ll try to keep things out of the red here on my blog site.
Instead, “Chapter 11” is referring to a concept from a recent read through my MBAe program called Brains on Fire. Brains on Fire is a book about creating a movement, igniting passion, and inspiring action. There are 10 key lessons proposed (listed below), with each corresponding to a chapter in the book. After completing Chapter 10, the book’s authors challenge the readers to write their own “Chapter 11” and relate it to their brand.
- Movements about the passion conversation, NOT the product conversation.
- Movements start with the first conversation.
- Movements have inspirational leadership
- Movements have a barrier of entry.
- Movements empower people with knowledge.
- Movements have shared ownership.
- Movements have powerful identities.
- Movements live both online and off-line.
- Movements make advocates feel like rock stars.
- Movements get results.
Brains on Fire is definitely a “feel-good” “ra-ra” read. Though cheesy at times, I have to admit that I’m a huge fan. All chapters give relevant examples of companies that applied the key lesson at hand and prospered as a result. The lesson which really stuck out to me, though, was from Chapter 9- “Movements make advocates feel like rock stars.”
There’s nothing tricky about comprehending this message. Lesson 9 simply reminds us to be appreciative of our fans and customers. Here’s a personal example about how one of my favorite brands solidified my participation in their movement.
Nike is without question my favorite brands. I support everything the brand represents- winning, living the “just do it” motto, getting the job done, kicking ass, taking names, being an athlete, being a hero, blah blah. But seriously, I don’t own a pair of kicks that don’t sport the Nike swoosh. About 90% of the athletic gear is from Nike. I’m such a fan that I actually asked Mom to return a pair of Adidas socks that she bought me last year for Christmas. “Sorry, Momma. We Nike reps can’t be cross-branding. Let’s swap these out.” I’m not actually a Nike rep, but I joke about the matter (too) often with friends. (If anyone from Nike happens to read this, please holler, and I’ll be happy to represent.)
Needless to say, last month, I tweeted some motivational quote I saw on Nike’s website using several handles along with @Nike. I was ecstatic the next day to learn that Nike tweeted back at me. I know my excitement may sound like a bit naïve, but this is a brand with 675K followers on Twitter and nearly 11M likes on FB. Though I’m sure it took no effort at all for one of Nike’s social media reps to respond to my tweet, the effort literally made me feel “like a rock star.” I practically jumped out of my seat before I told my roommates the news.
I’ll remember this feeling Nike gave to me throughout my journey in the world on entrepreneurship. I’ll be sure to show my gratitude to fans for the biggest or smallest of their efforts. I understand the impact that a verbal “thank you,” a card, an email, and even a tweet can have. I hope to make my fans feel like they’re heading to “Paradise City” at the front row of a Guns and Roses concert.
To all those who have supported me, my team, and our efforts thus far, THANK YOU for being rock stars. We won’t let you down. This one goes out to you…