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Flip the Funnel: How to Use Existing Customers to Gain New Ones by Joseph Jaffe

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WHEN IN ROME . . .

This millennial generation has grown up with technology as pervasive as the air they breathe. In particular, social computing, social networking and peer-to-peer sharing all come naturally to this networked segment. In hindsight, it seems like a no-brainer that an internal social network would be met with rapid adoption by a younger base. After all, Facebook was initially created as a novel way to keep in touch with college buddies.
Enter Blue Shirt Nation, an internal social network within Best Buy that has literally transformed Blue Shirts from a liability to an unmatched strategic asset from the inside out.
Blue Shirt Nation (BSN) was founded by two members of Best Buy’s internal advertising department—Copywriter/Creative Director Gary Koelling and Account Supervisor Steve Bendt—who were working on an upcoming campaign but weren’t satisfied with the quality of consumer insights they’d been given. So they decided to go into their stores to do some of their own research with employees; however, they needed more responses than they were getting to make their research fairly representative. In order to expand the sample set, they decided to create—innocently enough—an online forum for all employees to access and use as a tool to collect insights and feedback.
What they found, however, was that this feedback platform was bigger than advertising. It became more than a place for Best Buy employees to share ideas about the work they do for their customers; it ...

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