So Who’s in Your Framily?

Yeah, there could be a new word. It might last for today’s social minute, or become another meme. In case you’ve been sleeping (or not watching commercial TV), it comes courtesy of Sprint, which has figured out that our shared hunger for community and connection is coinciding with a rapidly changing sense of just who our family might be.

Enter the Framily – friends and family. For Sprint, and maybe us, too, it’s a new way to re-define our connections, and loyalty.

What’s the PR lesson here? Spending a lot of money always helps penetrate the social conscience. But it goes much, much further when it also hits the emotional convergence of personal and business needs. That’s when you can change how even the most skeptical consumers think about their worlds – and your product. Even the most wary – like IT buyers – drop their barriers when a messages resonates on a personal level. That’s why it’s so important to understand what makes business buyers tick on a personal, emotional, and professional level.

In terms of Sprint’s rapid success, I give a lot credit to the person who figured out the connection between our ‘sharing economy’ and how we connect in other ways. (Start with AirBnB, Aero, KickStarter, and CitiBikes, all just the beginning.)

I’m not sure I would have thought of it. Now I’m wondering how B2B companies can move to the center of this concept. It’s more than online communities, user groups and advisory boards. Software companies started this a couple of decades ago, with OpenSource. That means the culture is there, and the users – well, they’re already sharing apartments, bikes, cars and phones.