From startups to global enterprises, every company struggles at times with
getting customers to go on record. Here are some ideas in practice at
companies today for encouraging customers to be featured:
1. Access and involvement-Surprisingly, the #1 thing customers want is
access and involvement-access to your execs and involvement in your
product/service roadmap. Generate ways for your top customers to interact
with your organization on a deeper level.
2. Co-marketing campaigns-Create a few co-marketing campaigns for the
customers you most want to feature. The focus: How successful the customer
is, and one of its steps to success has been using your solutions.
3. Joint-benefit story angles-If possible, find a way to tell your
story and the story that your customer wants to tell the public. Win-win!
4. An evolving relationship-Move customers through a ... (more)
If asked, will customers submit themselves as possible case study or success
From consumer-products companies to B2B to nonprofit organizations, many now
actively solicit stories with self-service “Share Your Story” links on
their Web sites. Apple created a link for this soon after the release of its
wildly popular iPhone. FileMaker software includes a link to “Tell us your
Girl Scouts of the USA asks former members to share their experiences for its
alumnae program. And Toyota Motor Sales gather owners' stories and gets usage
permission through an o... (more)
I have a not-quite-two-year-old, and thus, spend a lot of time reading
nursery rhymes and fairly tales.
Most of these catchy or intriguing little stories pre-date our
great-great-grandparents, but the lessons are still valid today.
Take the story of the Ugly Duckling, a tale released by Hans Christian
Andersen in 1843. The ugly duckling, which was mocked when young, grew up to
be the most beautiful swan of them all.
In the case study world, non-public customer stories are perceived as an ugly
duckling of what we do. When you can't post it on your website, spin it into
a pr... (more)
I'm a big proponent of what I call "win-win storytelling" in customer case
studies and success stories. The company creating the customer story has to
benefit, as does the featured customer.
The key - especially for landing big-name customers for customer stories - is
finding what motivates each customer (on an individual, departmental or
company level). Simply reminding the customer they receive free publicity may
not be enough.
In just the past two weeks, I've worked on several stories with interesting
customer motivators behind them:
- A civil engineer is enthusiastic a... (more)
If you heard that a certain type of fox is endangered, would you be moved to
How about if you heard that a mama fox was trying to keep herself and her
litter safe as their forest disappears?
Now that's different. There's a story there with actual individuals being
Such was the storyline for a campaign by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF),
which told a universal tale of survival to communicate about the kit fox
problem in Northern California.
Information in the context of a story is dramatically more compelling than
straight facts. Yet, many nonprofits fail to tell... (more)