Friday, September 25, 2020

Executive Education

RICE, the Fuel to Optimize Fan Influences

Companies have been applying various apparatus to grow fan bases and charm their cheerleaders to endorse their brands, but most have yet to harness their huge untapped fan values because the latter simply need to be tailored to reconcile with their business operations and objectives to reveal their full clouts.

To enjoy exemplary fan contributions, institutions will need to acclimatize these 4 tactics, coined RICE, into their operations:

  • Regulate Fan Engagements at Key Touch Points
  • Instill A Sense of Ownership
  • Cultivate Fan Activities
  • Endow Fancy Titles and Financial Rewards
  1. Regulate Fan Engagements at Key Touch Points

There are numerous places where businesses can tap into their fans who, nonetheless, should only be enlisted when and where their aids matter the most. To fully utilize these assets, corporates must steer their supporters toward three crucial areas, acronym ABC, where their influences can make paramount impacts. These three foremost intersecting zones are: architecting (A), branding (B), and continual improvement (C).

  • Architecting

Product design is solidified in the architectural phase, and the best time to eradicate design flaws is before its production starts. Prior to the blueprint’s final signoff, brand allegiants should be invited into a review session – get them to sign NDA if needed in order to interact with them freely and effectively – so that their perspectives can be leveraged to validate and shape the design before it heads onto the manufacturing floor. Additionally, acting as consulting architects in a product design’s crystalizing moment is a much cherished experience that would motivate fans into staunch proponents as well.

  • Branding

Goods that make a buzz or wow the intended populace cannot easily accomplish this feat by themselves alone; their fans’ self-initiated promotions often play significant supplementary roles. Shrewd executives feed their fans product intelligence at carefully selected intervals to invigorate word-of-mouth fanfares. Some might apply hunger marketing gambits to gradually disseminate product information from vague to perspicuous through calculated, piecemeal, and staged exposures until all snippets come together at the launch. If advocates with affiliative, authoritative, or pacesetting traits are cordially recruited to play their cheerleading roles respectively, the murmur from the amalgamated effect will most certainly exceed what could have been achieved solely by the companies themselves.

  • Continual Improvement

It is absolutely critical to quickly establish a market feedback loop ahead of sales so that criticisms can be swiftly calmed or even reverted before disaffection breeds deep and far. Moreover, when handled methodically, discontent customers and fans could be transformed into stronger brand ambassadors. One effective way to implement a proper response circle would be to absorb a few fan captains into the companies as retrospective officers to campaign for product betterment during ex post facto sessions. Aside from this merit, the improvement catalyst role would impel these fans to lobby harder for the amended merchandises in the market place. Many firms establish channels to glean market echoes, but few go the extra mile to actually embed customer champions into their reflection programs. Little do they realize that this encampment is the elixir to develop the competitive advantage needed to win in the customer loyalty game!

  1. Instill A Sense of Ownership

Ownership is the key to turn ordinary fans into brand envoys because people contribute more to their own courses. To infuse them with this notion, firms have to ascertain them that they are earnestly sought after to act routinely as sounding boards or counsellors on vital subjects rather than as incidental idea donors at random. People who own their works exceedingly outperform those who do not; enthusiasts privy to product intelligence before their public disclosures and courted at the ABC touch points will assimilate to their co-ownership roles, and would naturally be more incentivized to contribute on brand affairs.

  1. Cultivate Fan Activities

Fan acumens in design, launch, Kaizen , and many other facets during a ware’s life cycle have mostly been manifesting in uncollated exploits. This is a waste for any business because erratic brilliance spurted out at emotional spikes might not be immediately relevant or operable, and they might even be offensive to some audience. Even random strokes of genius need to be post processed to become most useful. And when customer reflections happen to be pertinent, constructive, and readily actionable, they would generally require to be choreographed to exert maximal benefits. Only symphonized fan wisdoms are relevant, coherent, and integrate well with the firms’ other marketing maneuvers and overall product strategies. The key is to get brand believers to fervently participate when and where their knacks can be orchestrated to make the biggest difference.

  1. Endow Fancy Titles and Financial Rewards

Fancy titles and monetary allowances heighten enthusiasm and contributions. Most fans might not hesitate to spare a few moments to share their views, but hardly anyone would accept a counseling role or commit a slice of their valuable time for anything less than endearing to them. It is therefore essential to award those loyalists with enticing decorations and economic compensations to cajole them to zealously embrace prescribed action plans by the organizations. The auspicious consequence of granting these fans great distinctions commensurate with their roles is imperative because it is the cornerstone that enables businesses to maximize their gains through their fans’ efforts. Product evangelist, service advisor, consulting architect, retrospective officer, or whatever equitable catchy designations should be offered to these helping hands without reservation to induce their best and their most. Deeds inspired by emotional reward through fancy accolade is great, but they could not prosper long without being nourished by reasonable financial remittance. Savvy business executives should pay equal attention to actuate both of these stimulants if they want to reap the utmost worth from their brand lovers.


“The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.” – B.F. Skinner


What you may have missed — and simply must read:

1. The World’s Top 20 Most Valuable Brands For 2015
2. Valentinos Tzekas, An 18 Year Old Greek Kid Set To Launch “Near: Check Who’s Nearby” App
3. The Financial Benefits of Reducing Print
4. Step into the Future with Face To Face Video Conferencing
5. What non-tech recruiters need to look for when seeking the right tech talent

By Chi-Pong Wong, Service Segment Manager V at HP Inc.

Photo: Jaguar XF Luxury Sports Saloon.

Chi-Pong Wong
Chi-Pong Wong is a seasoned professional proficient in customer experience, vendor and partner relations, marketing and branding, supply-chain strategy, and program and project management. He has published articles on leading online magazines including Venture Beat, Internet Retailer, Marketing Profs, CEOWORLD magazine, Smart Business, Customer Think, Triple Pundit, UX Matters, Service Director Business Review, Project Times, Project Management, PM Hut, Supply Chain Brain, Supply Chain Digital, and other popular journals. He earned a MA in Economics at SUNY @ Stony Brook and a MS in Computer Science at Duke University. Before working for HP Inc, he has previously held various strategy, operations, and management positions at Hewlett-Packard, Arrow Electronics, IBM, STMicroelectronics, and NEC Electronics.