Make no mistake about it, WordPress is on the move. Growing from a simple platform for amateur bloggers to a huge presence on the Internet, WordPress achieved success through the innovative way it marketed its products.
WordPress uses community events, called WordCamps, to introduce WordPress users to each other. Ultimately, the events help the brand rise to meet the challenge of marketing their products. Through these events, WordPress creates brand evangelists.
At WordCamps, WordPress users—who now include brick-and-mortar businesses as well as bloggers—come together to share how to use the website-building platform to leverage more sales, more page views, and more traffic. The informal conferences feature successful WordPress users who teach others how to use the platform more efficiently. If WordCamp attendees can duplicate the presenters’ success, they, too, will learn how to better promote their own organizations.
Promote a Brand at WordCamp
Though geeks are admittedly in the majority at these conferences, business owners and bloggers who promote businesses for a living also hang around to absorb the high-tech cachet—and to feel as if they, too, were part of such a brainy community.
As one WordPress spokesperson, Jennifer Mylo, put it:
“It’s a treat to be around other WordPress people…It’s a super geeky fiefdom.”
Accordingly, WordPress doesn’t do traditional marketing to promote their organization. The way they market their organization; however, appeals to the geek culture and the business owners who become their groupies.
What WordPress does is to incorporate a low-cost, geek-friendly marketing tactic into the WordCamp culture. They use stickers.
For those who think stickers are for the under-10 crowd, think again. Members of the high-tech community collect tech company stickers to display on their laptops. The more stickers one collects, the more communities one can claim to be a part of. Being part of a community builds trust. Bottom line, trust is what builds confidence in a brand.
Stickers help even conversation-averse geeks begin conversations. Their catchy design and slogans pique curiosity, leading to a conversation. That conversation, in turn, builds brand familiarity. Brand familiarity, as all businesses know, helps to build one’s business. To begin a conversation is to start a relationship–the foundation of doing business together.
WordCamps also tailor their stickers to both the venue and the attendees to produce an appealing design that exudes cool. In New York City, for example, the event organizers created a logo that features the WordPress logo—a simple W—written in the same font as the NYC subway system’s logo. To pair a company’s brand with that of a well-known landmark, WordPress discovered, promotes the brand by building on the sense of community among the city’ residents.
Another way to create community is to appeal to people’s desire to become part of an exclusive community. With attractive, easily recognizable stickers only given to a select few, a company can create a desire on the part of its brand’s fans to obtain a sticker. The sense of exclusivity–of belonging to “the club”–is also a powerful way to build a brand’s reputation. That’s because the special sense of belonging shown by displaying an organization’s sticker creates the same emotion in current and potential customers as does belonging to an exclusive club.
When two fans of the same brand pull out their laptops at a coffee shop and recognize, by the stickers plastered on each other’s laptops, that they’re both fans of the same brand, they are bound to feel more trust in each other—and in the brands they each represent. Such trust often leads the two fans of the company promoted on the sticker to do business with each other as well. That kind of community-building makes WordPress a marketing success.
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