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Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable Word of Mouth Movements by Spike Jones, Geno Church, Greg Cordell, Robbin Phillips

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Chapter 2. Movements Start with the First Conversation

We're often asked, "So, when does the movement actually start?" A lot of people assume that it takes place when the web site is up, all the online and off-line tools are produced, the launch party happens, and the fanfare ensues.

Nope. Not even a little bit.

The advertising and marketing industry is addicted to the "reveal." We like to go off into a corner, think of all this cool stuff (whether it's relevant to solving our client's problems or not), and then come back with this huge "TA-DA!" moment. It's all part of the magic act. But you can't ignite a movement on the reveal. Movements don't start when you pull the trigger and execute tactics. You can't ignite them without people. People are, after all, the killer app.

But guess what we've learned about igniting movements? They start with that first one-on-one conversation, because, as Best Buy's Jamie Plesser says, "A conversation is an experience in and of itself." Yes, the idea is big, but it starts small, by huddling little groups of kindred spirits together and letting them own it. It's hard for individuals to feel like they own your latest ad campaign, no matter how touching, personal, and compelling it might be. You're not talking solely to me; you're talking to millions of other people and hoping they will upload a video at your site talking about you.

Movements Start with the First Conversation

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