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Create Compelling Community Content: Fiskars Case Study

Must “content” come in written, video or podcast form? Consider the following . . .

I’m a raving fan of the Brains on Fire movement.

I was thrilled to be invited to participate in their Fire Sessions this year and, along with the other participants, was excited to find a copy of their new book, Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements, waiting for me.

I strongly believe it’s a must-read for marketers for so many reasons, but let’s look at one story in particular that really caught my eye (in Lesson #8) in regard to creating content for online communities. This story pertains to the Fiskateers – a movement that Fiskars, a 360-year-old company based in Finland, empowered its crafting/scrapbooking customers to ignite with their own passion:

“One of the stories we like to tell is about our designers at Brains on Fire spending a lot of time creating the beautiful ‘Now What?’ booklet (a booklet that comes in the welcome kit for new Fiskateers). They were very proud of their handiwork, and when people began to receive their welcome kits in the mail, we watched with anticipation for their reactions. They loved the books – especially the content – but as crafters, they couldn’t resist the urge to reuse the paper.

So they began to tear apart the books and utilize them for some of their other projects. The designers were surprised, but it’s something we could have never seen coming. Now we co-create materials with the community in the first place. Lesson learned.

Today you can find, a site where members can download and personalize their own Fiskateer business cards and coasters, put blinkies on their web sites, and share the oath with others. It’s online and off, working hand-in-hand.”

If you go to the site, it’s quite impressive. You can easily see how the content that has been co-created by the company and the Fiskateers is exactly what crafters would be drawn to. And note the following:

  • Members of the community are encouraged to put their own personal touches on the content.
  • Members are also encouraged to upload their personalized content to a gallery for the rest of the community to see.
  • Thought was put into creating beautiful offline tools, like drink coasters and cool business cards, that could be shared with prospective Fiskateers in an in-person crafting setting as a way to introduce them to the community and get them excited about the movement.
  • The community oath – “The Fiskateer Way” – has been creatively designed to be downloaded and shared. It’s a frame-worthy oath unlike any you’ll see in a corporate setting.
  • Blinkies, which can be added to web pages and even email signatures, are included. They are designed to be fun and encourage use, further spreading word of the movement and evoking the excitement that Fiskateers exude.

The fact that this content was co-created by the company and the community members, in and of itself, speaks volumes about the way to create compelling content when it comes to your online community!

So, empower your community members to think big about the content they’d like to share online and off, and start creating it together.