Brains Build Community

I’m happy to see my friends at Brains On Fire get some positive press for their Fiskars work.
Josh Bernoff, VP-principal analyst at Forrester Research and co-author of Groundswell, writing in Ad Age outlines the idea.

Although Fiskars products are central to the scrapbooking experience, in 2006 the company found its own image was lackluster. In focus groups, respondents told the company that if Fiskars was a color, it would be beige; if it were a food, it would be saltines.
How could the company align itself with the enthusiasm of its own customers? An ad campaign would cost too much and wouldn’t make long-lasting difference. So Suzanne Fanning, Fiskars’ head of corporate communications, teamed with a brand consultancy called Brains on Fire to create the Fiskateers.
Fiskateers is an exclusive community of crafters. You have to be invited to get in. Once there, you can connect with one of the lead Fiskateers, four crafting enthusiasts identified by Fiskars in a national search. When you join up, you get a box that includes crafting supplies plus unique two-tone scissors available only to members. But, most important, you get to connect and draw ideas and support from fellow crafters.
Fiskateers is a social application, but it’s not a campaign — it’s an ongoing effort. In just over a year, Fiskars has grown the community to include more than 4,000 members, 20 times its original goal.

I was thinking of asking Spike Jones to answer some questions about this campaign, but then I thought, “You ask him!” He’s going to see this post and I’m sure he will be happy to engage via comments. I’ll get us rolling.
Q. Spike, does Brains On Fire have a scrapbook? Is that what a blog is to some degree?



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.