Know your audience — Lionesses of Africa

The music went viral, everyone was singing it, Radio Stations were inundated with requests for it (yes, an advert!), the image of hope and future within was grasped by all. Coke got a decade’s worth of free advertising each day leading them to donate a huge sum of money to UNISEF and…they had their global (and youth) audience (seen here).

Brian adds: “…advertising [became] more about larger themes about how it makes you feel..

Why is this important – to move from your product to a more ethereal feeling as a way of selling your product? The answer lies in finding and then bringing your audience on your journey. If they simply buy a Coke, that is one deal, but if they buy into the feeling of hope and future, that is a continuous relationship.

In the brilliant Netflix series entitled “The Playbook – A Coach’s Rules For Life.” “Know your audience” is the number one rule from José Mourinho. This world famous Football/Soccer coach certainly knows how to get the best out of his audience and his team. 

So why should ‘Know your audience’ be his number one rule? It is his strong belief that whatever you do, you must identify with your audience. If you identify with them, become part of them and they become part of you, it creates a ‘raison d’être’ that all can believe in, lifts up your team and allows them to reach for previously unknown levels knowing that what they are doing is for the ‘greater good’ of those around them. In Porto they say they ‘sweat your shirt’ through your passion as a supporter, later we look at South Carolina and there in the American Football Stadium the supporters say of the Upper East Stand “If it ain’t swayin’, we ain’t playin’” – and sways it does! With that kind of support teams can do anything.

Initially for José this required him to not buy top players. In Portugal as a young manager, he had to build up the local youngsters who would appeal to the home crowd. He knew his crowd were hard working people who did not like fancy players arriving with smart cars, but to see effort, sweat and drive and through that, success – it was after all what they themselves had been doing all their lives. The home crowd grew and grew. His youngsters repaid him by winning the league twice and the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Cup.

Also in this Netflix series we see the incredible Dawn Staley, a seriously top Basketball player in her own right – 3 Olympic Golds, 2 World Cups, inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012, she then turned her attention to coaching. Becoming the Head Coach of South Carolina (an American Football state), the first thing she did – the very first thing she pushed aggressively, was the crowd. She called it:

Create The Home Advantage.

Women’s Basketball was never the main event, empty halls greeted players everytime they took to the pitch – if they had 23 fans that was lucky. Come back later to watch the men’s game, you would be one of 18,000. Watch the American Football – remember the swaying Upper East Stand? You would be one of 85,000! Who wants to play in front of 23 people? In those conditions who wants to give their best. Indeed why would the best want to join her team if there was no atmosphere? So she rolled up her sleeves and got stuck in. Visiting the local communities, always at the local markets, going to the big games (American Football obviously) where she became well known…and her crowds started to grow. After games she would hang around talking to fans and having photos taken, slowly the tide turned, filling the stadium – 18,000 screaming fans!

“…we created a place where people feel truly special…when you make somebody feel special, they want to help you succeed.”

That is true of the Coke drinkers in 1971, that is true of the hard working gutsy workers who would follow José Mourinho to the ends of the earth, that is true of the Football loving South Carolina women’s Basketball supporters who took Dawn Staley into their hearts AND that is certainly true of our businesses. So how will you create a home team advantage? 

In one of Melanie’s morning newsletters this week, she wrote:

…develop your own product champions, those customers who love your products or services and are happy to share their positive endorsement in public through testimonials, interviews or social media posts. These product champions can also help you to generate new sales by acting as references and referrals when potential new customers need peace of mind and feedback from existing buyers. The chances are that your business has a number of potential product champions in the making, satisfied customers who love your products, services and brand, and would be happy to share their feedback. So start talking to them now and build your own product champion network who can do the talking for you.

A small effort on your part ‘creates a place where people feel truly special’, much like these inspirational Lionesses:

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