Customer evangelism works because business is about people.
In their book Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force, Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba outlined how you can go about creating evangelists.
Understanding the love (listening), giving to receive, spreading the word, bringing customers together, going from sampling to evangelism, and creating a cause -- these are some of the action steps.
There are known brands that have passionate evangelists.
ABC: How Apple Builds Community
With this presentation, Steve Jobs demonstrates he is a member of that community and throughout he shows respect and humility.
He has anticipated most questions content-wise, and makes everyone in the room at ease in the conversation.
The power of persuasion comes from a mix of pragmatic realism, and firm vision borne out of the commitment he personally, and Apple, has made to the community in Cupertino.
Tribal Marketing: Ducati
Knowing that a mass marketing approach would have been too expensive for the niche brand, Ducati engaged word of mouth from tribe members.
The company organizes events -- Ducati Weekends and the World Ducati Week -- with a real tribe of 200,000 Ducati owners and a virtual tribe of 12 MM visitors yearly to the site Ducati.com. Customer communities do pay off.
Apple and Brand Evangelists
One thing that comes across in the first iPad product presentation is the total commitment the company has to its products -- and its profitability.
Does it control every aspect of the brand, including its messages? You bet. Completely.
Yet, the company has plenty of customer evangelists. Apple knows how to create a product it believes in and build the platform for a conversation about its performance.
Do you Have the Pixar Touch?
Having a great story and believing in it is only one part of the equation. How does the story perform in the marketplace?
Are we effective? Not just as in having special effects, but how do events bounce off us, what is the experience of us?
When you start looking into it, you may discover your brand already has passionate evangelists. You just had not seen/found them.