One of the best ways to generate word of mouth and create brand evangelists is to create a discussion forum. What could be better than giving hundreds, thousands, or even millions of your customers or potential customers a forum where they can talk about your products day night? They can swap stories and passions and ideas.
Many companies think creating a discussion forum is a great idea. They think, "of course - people love us and our products - they'd like nothing better than to have a place where they can meet and talk about us for hours".
I wonder what would happen if I, Holly Buchanan, created my own discussion forum. All my fans could congregate and talk about me and all the things I'm passionate about, from marketing to women, to addictions to Swedish Fish , to what to do about your Boston Terrier's snoring problem.
There's just one problem - no one cares about Holly Buchanan. (Ok, my mom does, but.....)
Do people share some of my same passions? Sure they do. I know I have more than one reader, so someone other than my mother is reading the blog. But is my brand strong enough that people really want to talk about me? No, it's not.
Yet many companies think their customers are so passionate about the company and what it sells that, of course, they need a discussion forum. Apple needs a discussion forum - you probably don't.......unless......