FIRE Sessions 2013: the day after


Whoa. The 2013 FIRE Sessions were more like the Firehose Sessions. We brought together a collection of kindred spirits, clients, and super smart speakers for a jam-packed day of learning and connecting.

What are the FIRE Sessions? Think marketing grad school complete with everyone doing keg stands of knowledge. (Seriously, keg stands of knowledge.)

Here’s what went down. We had Jackie Huba share her obsession for Lady Gaga’s marketing strategies to turn followers into fans. Our own Geno Church schooled us on how cookie cutter customer communities don’t cut it. Wharton Professor Jonah Berger gave a class on crafting contagious content. Rob Morris, co-founder and president of LOVE146, closed out the day by sharing his “in the trenches” advice for authentically and passionately sustaining a movement.

There was so much smart thinking for us all to digest. Expect a complete recap of the 2013 FIRE Sessions on this blog next week. Until then, here are 15 embers still glowing in my mental fireplace from yesterday’s FIRE Sessions …

#1 | CMOs are too preoccupied with new customers and new products. They’re forgetting about the power of current customers.

#2 | Use Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to forge emotional connections with customers by leading with the WHY behind what your business does.

#3 | To forge deep connections with your die hard brand fans (the 1%), give them a name and a shared symbol — ex. Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters & claw.

#4 | Building a customer community is a lot like baking homemade chocolate cookies. There is no cookie cutter process. It’s messy work.

# 5 | Community is a way, not a place. Community rallies people around a cause/idea. Community is defined by customers who give a damn.

#6 | A brand community isn’t for every customer. It’s for the fervent ones, the freaky ones, the weird ones. The 1%ers.

Jonah_500#7 | The STEPPS-by-step process for crafting contagious content includes: Social currency, Triggers, Emotions, Public, Practical Value, Stories.

#8 | Social Currency … are messages that make people feel smart, cool, and special spark word of mouth. ex: Please Don’t Tell in NYC

#9 | Triggers… design products/messages to be triggered by the environment in order to become talkable. ex: FRIDAY by Rebecca Black

#10 | Emotions… focus marketing messages on feelings more than function. ex: Google’s Parisian Love commercial

#11 | Public… products/messages/ideas that are easily viewed out in the open get talked about. ex: Movember

#12 | Practical Value… products/messages/ideas that are highly useful get discussed. ex: saving money coupons/tips get talked about

#13 | Stories… to spark word of mouth, wrap products/messages/ideas around a broader narrative. ex: Jared’s Subway story


#14 | Movements take Audacious people, Thorough thinking, Personal engagement, Tenacity, People Perspective, Collective Shout

#15 | Great marketing inspires passion from customers, donors, employees, and people. The prerequisite for passion is thoughtfulness from every angle.

UPDATE | Jan 31

FIRE Sessions attendee Michael Jantz (from 800-CEO-READ) sketch-noted the first two sessions of the day. Michael admits to being new to sketch-noting but his newness is chock-full of awesomeness. These are great Michael. Thanks for sharing and adding your voice to the FIRE.



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