Wednesday, November 14, 2007

POTW: Cycle of a Fan

Inspired by my Gator experience in Gainesville two Saturdays ago, I'm on a quest to enjoy, in person, a major college football rivalry or two each year. Michigan-Ohio State, Auburn-Alabama, Texas-Oklahoma, Notre Dame-SC and a half-dozen others populate my itinerary. I'm hooked.

Or, more aptly, I'm a fan. "Fan," of course, is a derivative of "fanatic":

fa·nat·ic (fə-nāt'ĭk)
n. A person marked or motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm, as for a cause.

Which brings me to our Post of the Week, courtesy of Brains on Fire. Cycle of a Fan engages a person's emotional involvement -- the crescendo of extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm -- for a cause. Could be a football team or a sport. Could be a product or a company. Might be a philanthropy or university. Or, a person's advocacy for a cause.

Regardless, it's a provocative look at the logical steps an individual takes in their involvement with most anything. For me, it's a play-by-play CRC (customer relationship cultivation) guide -- the practice of ushering people through introduction, participation, adoption, evangelism, community, and ownership is invaluable. All companies have constituents in each of the six camps. The goal, of course, is to mature their involvement through the lifecycle -- ensuring your engagement moves beyond transient participation and simple adoption. As their involvement matures, so too does the likelihood and viability of their self-referencing.

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