Can a nearly 400-year-old company reinvent itself around customer conversations, brand advocates and online enthusiasts? The story of Fiskars proves that it can. Fiskars makes high-quality scissors that are popular with scrapbooking enthusiasts. The problem was that the company’s brand recognition was low. Scrapbookers perceived one scissor as being pretty much like another. Big-box retailers were also beginning to draw down their inventories, meaning that Fiskars needed to reconnect with small, specialty retailers.
Fiskars engaged new media ad agency Brains on Fire to create an innovative promotional initiative around brand ambassadors. The strategy wasn’t just to throw open the doors to a community. Membership in the Fiskateers club was kept intentionally small. Fiskateers were given the tools and training to evangelize the brand and share their love of scrapbooking. The results: same-store sales tripled after a visit from a Fiskateer. In an interview from the New Communications Forum, Brains on Fire’s Geno Church tells how the program worked.