Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus. When Francis P. Church answered the letter he told a truth that challenged the intelligence of the intelligent, yet soothed the souls of every parent who is terrified by the same question. Perhaps my favorite line from the editorial is: "Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world." Francis P. Church, The New York Sun, 1897. The editorial was famous. It not only expounded on truth, love and even faith, but also helped the world to understand why Santa Claus was important. And that is the real truth and motivation. Believing in something is better than the alternative. And believing in something bigger than ourselves is a surefire way to engage and connect.
Just because you build the ball field, website, lemonade stand - you name it - doesn't mean THEY will come. GoogleAds are not the only way to get the word out, open for business does not mean the cash register sings with the jingle of cash. People, customers, want to share a value, belief or a great experience. Having an open for business sign with no plan for sharing the true meaning of what you do, sell, or make and WHY it is connection worthy - is just a bunch of letters on another sign and more noise vying for the attention of our over connected society. For a great example of brutal honesty, stand for something transparency...check out Peldi Guilizzoni , CEO, of Balsamiq Mockups. According to Jason Cohen in his Business Insider article, Guilizzoni is frighteningly honest and it paid off. Why? Because he had values and a vision. He also has a great product, but the product doesn't sell unless people know about it. Some of the greatest products in history went the way of the Dodo before anyone even knew they were available. The difference is in the passion, vision and values of the creator. All it takes is one person to ignite a movement, (pssst...pass it on). One becomes two, then two becomes four - well you know the rest of the story.
If you want to start something great - have a great story and an unshakable, unstoppable understanding of why you are doing it. Share it with like minded people who will share it with their value chain. The real key here is being honest. Honest about your goals, your values and what is really driving your passion for what ever you are doing. Honest passion is more contagious then H1N1 when it comes to word of mouth marketing.
With a decade plus of experience as a brand ambassador and chief sloganista, I am fascinated with customers and their customers. Ever curious, I love to analyze data, talk to people and seek to know "Why?"