In 2006, when Brains on Fire worked with Fiskars on a massive re-ignition of their brand, they found out that most of the people buying Fiskars products were scrapbookers and crafters. They came up with an idea to build an online crafting community that would connect the Fiskars brand to its true fans. Fiskateers was started by hand-selecting four women from across the US, who were then flown to the Fiskars factory, given a tour and introduced to the leadership team. They were then given the keys to the vacant online community Brains on Fire had built and a responsibility to develop, maintain and evangelize it to other crafters. The entire project was started with four people and it is now more then 9,000 members strong and growing, representing 20 countries.
To build a community is not an insurmountable task. You can get started with only a few carefully selected starting members. Maybe only 15 web developers or 23 engaged citizens would be enough. This initial micro-community, with an involvement from your brand, builds the foundation into which other similar-minded and motivated people will be attracted to.
Simon Sinek points out that to reach a tipping point of market penetration you must get the innovators and early adopters on your side. They constitute about 18% of the population, with early majority, late majority and laggards making up the rest. So if you develop a very specific target market profile, reaching and engaging just 18% of those shouldn’t be that hard. Fiskars started with four, you too can started with a handful.
– Ernest // @ebarbaric