Who is your 12th Man?
Seattle Seahawks organization showed class and smarts in the immediate aftermath of winning this week’s Super Bowl. They, owner and coaches and players, recognized the important role of the 12th Man. That’s their fans whose devotion and lung power create the most formidable home field advantages in the league. I’m not an expert on the Seahawks, their stadium or their 12th Man. However, I did notice the stadium’s ritual of raising the 12th Man flag and how the measure the roar of their voices.
Cutting through the roar of NFL, Super Bowl, Super Bowl Ads...the Seahawks’ 12th Man is their most devoted customers. These are the ones who not only buy the game tickets, but then invest most of a Sunday to watch their team execute and deliver their product. They invest energy and emotion in cheering the results of those executions and deliveries. Then they go home and tell everyone about their experience.
Who is your 12th Man? Do you have a 12th Man? Do they roar for you? Would they spend even five minutes watching your operations?
Yeah, it’s silly to even ask, right? Let’s not even think about the answer to ‘Would they cheer for what they see?’
You’re shaking your head and wondering ‘Why did I spend these precious moments reading such a silly post?’ That’s the NFL. We’re in....business. Maybe. I believe the NFL is in business, too. They’re doing pretty well, too. The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl and they have the loudest, most boisterous group of customers in the league. And, the Seahawks’ organization recognizes this IMMEDIATELY upon their Super Bowl victory.
The reason the players recognize the 12th Man is...obviously for the support of their efforts and the disruption of their opponent's efforts. But, also it seems, the Seahawks' recognize their efforts. I cannot imagine players recognizing the 12th Man under any other circumstances.
If I was billionaire like Paul Allen, the owner of the Seahawks, I would commission a study of industries and their competitors around the world. The study would be to rank the companies in every industry for two criteria, organic sales growth (not buying revenues by buying companies) and legions of customer fans, ie testimonials and loyalty rates and referrals and crosssells and upsells and also employee turnover/hiring costs and engagement. I would also propose a bet for what results I expect to see. I would bet anyone the cost of that study before it is commissioned that leaders in revenue growth will be leaders in 12th Man Metrics: customer fans, ie testimonials and loyalty rates and referrals and crosssells and upsells as well as employee engagement and low turnover and hiring costs.
That's a silly bet. The data is overwhelming. Companies with powerful, passionate, evangelistic 12th Man's are companies that are leaders in their industries.
These members of the 12th Man invest as much if not more than those of the Seahawks on a Sunday afternoon or evening. These members invest the majority of their day in unheralded moments and conversations, facing daunting challenges and finding successful solutions and sharing those stories, cheering if you will, in smaller bursts of emotion and amazement but in greater numbers through a full 12 months.
Who's your 12th Man? Are they cheering for you? Are you cheering for them?