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Newsletter #745: The “Behind the Scenes” Issue

Take fans behind the scenes, give them the dorky details, and let them see the passion behind it all. Here's what to show them:

   1> How it's made  
   2> Who made it 
   3> Where it's from  
   4> Check it out: What's That Bug?

1> How it's made

Your biggest fans love to see how your stuff is developed, tested, and manufactured. Take them behind the scenes by trying what Nokia does and put a bunch of your tests on tape to share on your blog, website, and YouTube. In Nokia's series of videos and blog posts focusing on "a bunch of guys who break phones for a living," they showed their engineers using elaborate machines to test phones in extreme temperatures, against repetitive button mashing, and undergoing some serious abuse. Options for showing off your testing and manufacturing process include opening up your facilities for tours, letting customers join in on trying out new products, and sharing a few photos and videos from your research facility.

The Lesson: Put the quality of your products on stage and share all the dorky details that true fans love by showing them how it's made.

Learn More: Nokia Conversations Blog

2> Who made it

Make it more than just another sale by sharing the history and the inspiration behind your stuff. Bruno's Chef's Kitchen in Eugene, Oregon is loved for its personal, friendly nature. Founders Tom and Bessie Bollag have built their business on word of mouth and make a point of putting their love and passion for what they do on display — including devoting a detailed section of the restaurant's website to how they met, how they got started, and why they do what they do. You could show your fans who made it by putting your CEO or founder on the front-lines, by putting your regular employees on stage, or by hosting "open house" events where customers can meet the whole staff.

The Lesson: To see how contagious passion can be, make it easy for your founders and dedicated employees to share their love for what they do with customers.

Learn More: Bruno's Chef's Kitchen

3> Where it's from

As consumers grow more and more conscious of where their stuff is manufactured, whether or not it's local, and how it got to your shelf, it helps to show them where it's from. Stone-Buhr — which touts itself as the first certified flour from sustainable farming — has created what they call, "Find the Farmer." It's a website where you can enter the lot code from your sack of flour to find the exact small group of farms that contributed to making your batch, where they're located, and even links to learn more about the farmers themselves. Try a simpler version of showing where it's from by creating a simple booklet to include with orders showing the communities in which your products are made, or by reminding customers that you're a local by including stuff that they'll appreciate in your publications like area news or local history.

The Lesson: If you've got the advantage of being locally made, or your business supports a worthy community, show it off whenever possible.

Learn More: Find the Farmer

4> Check it out: What's That Bug?

The next time you've got something big, hairy, and armed with a bunch of legs buzzing around your house, you might try this simple site before calling pest control. "What's That Bug" has a large database of photos and descriptions of insects, and you can even send in photos of whatever's crawling around your house for them to identify.

Check it out:

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