Apple, Nike, and Your Town’s Opinion Leaders
by Andrew Wood
I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?
When Apple first started, they generated a huge amount of goodwill and a loyal customer base by donating millions of dollars of Apple products to schools. And when those school kids grew up, guess what type of computer they wanted?
When Nike got into the golf business, they did so only in a limited way and only with a blade product (favored only by top players). So in the first year, if you saw anyone using a Nike club, the chances are they were a good player.
Later, they started a program called Nike Staff, which was a bunch of amateurs all in positions of some influence in the golf business. They gave all of us free equipment.
Some golf clubs give free memberships to local sports stars. Real estate developers give land or a sweetheart deal to get a local personality in their community.
When I started my martial arts franchise, I focused my initial efforts on winning over two or three opinion leaders. One alone brought 100 schools with him, while a second brought twenty.
Which opinion leaders in your community would boost your brand if people knew they were doing business with you?
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