Customers that sell for you is every CEO’s wildest dream. I would argue that it’s not just a dream but a necessity. Because if it doesn’t happen your product is dead long term anyway. So it’s really part and parcel to building your business. Some call it virality and others measure it via NPS scores, but they all amount to the same question:
Is your product a movement enabler?
A movement is likened to trends and waves. In technology, think of the cloud movement, the mobile movement, and now AI and Blockchain movements. I use the word movement because it’s more encompassing than trends. Trends may come and go, but a movement fundamentally changes how we do things. As Mark Boncheck wrote in Harvard Business Review, “Don’t sell a Product, sell a whole new way of thinking” A movement is that whole new way of thinking. It is not a fashion trend. Instead, it is a new way of operating that is here to stay. And every successful product is actually a movement or at least a part of it. It can be the symbol, the incubator, the platform, the enabler and the tool for that movement. And when you product becomes synonymous with the movement, you will, undoubtedly, have a groundswell of customers selling for you. And they won’t consider it selling either. They are instead recommending your product to a friend to help them out.
Take Atlassian JIRA for example. Atlassian User Groups was initially a customer-driven social group of JIRA users who meet in cities around the world to geek out about JIRA best practices. That’s a groundswell. That’s customers selling for you. The movement here? Agile development. Developers around the world are adopting agile to become more responsive to customer needs. Atlassian recognized this Agile movement, integrated Agile features into JIRA, and became a platform for it. Customers bonded over JIRA and Atlassian-funded pizza and together they propelled Atlassian to an IPO. What’s important to recognize is that it wasn’t about Atlassian at all. It was about the customers, the developers and teams who pioneered agile, and those who demonstrated its success and taught it to others. They needed a platform, they needed a tool, and Atlassian expertly provided it. Atlassian became the movement enabler. And together with their customers, became an Australian success story.
What movement is your product enabling? And how do you nurture your movement leaders?
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