When it comes to marketing, it is imperative to create a community around your brand. Whatever your brand stands for, you must run with it and create a following of dedicated customers along the way.
Seattleites are known to have a great deal of pride in their city, so the Seattle Seahawks took it upon themselves to wrap that existing community pride around football, giving everyone in the city something patriotic to talk about.
They did this by creating the 12th Man.
The 12th Man is representative of the fans: those thousands of dedicated, freezing cold people in the stands who give voice to the 11 who have taken the field.. In the loudest stadium in the US, the energy created by the 12th Man feeds off of itself, with people immediately absorbed in the brand, exuding pride.
Creating a sense of community gives people the opportunity to get involved and live the brand. Think about brands such as Nike – people not only wear the brand, but they include the brand in their lifestyle, serving as personal advocates. Every Sunday, Seahawks fans are living the brand, planning their day around the game, watching with their friends and wearing the latest Seahawks t-shirt.
Taking it one step further, ‘Blue Friday” has akso extended the brand’s reach by encouraging people to represent their team and home town by wearing blue every Friday.
While football is still flooded with beer ads, it is no longer solely about appealing to the football-loving dads out there. The sport is now being marketed to a broader audience, including women and families. This is key to the club’s marketing success: they are thinking about the possibilities beyond their current following to expand their customer base.
And it is something that all companies should emulate.
While few organizations have the marketing budget that NFL teams have, there is a lot to be learned from the example they have set. They have created a community and implemented modern marketing tactics, including the utilization of technology and social media. The Seahawks have been incredibly successful in developing a brand that people have fallen in love with and are proud to represent.
PS From the team here at Marketing Eye Seattle: Go Hawks!
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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