The only thing that beats passion…

…is deeper passion.

So I say quit it with the influence thing. It’s a debate that’s been raging on for years now. And you know on which side of the line I stand – I’ll take passion over influence any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Because passion is one of the things that fuels word of mouth. (The other is experience.) Influence is not sustainable. Influence is not long-lasting. Probably because the influencers that marketers are going after these days are having to make it their job to be influential. And people retire from jobs. But they don’t retire from experiences. And they don’t retire from being passionate about something. Passion has sticking power. You don’t have to work at it or maintain it like you do with being influential.

The only thing that can trump a passionate fan of your brand is someone who is MORE passionate. Not more influencial or who has more followers on Twitter. Remember, influence can be fabricated. But passion can’t. Social media influence can be built by almost anyone if they learn how to use the tools and dedicate time to growing and feeding their followers. But there are no tools to create passion. There are no tricks of the trade. There are no magic bullets. You either are passionate about something, or you’re not.

The other thing about passion is that it can’t be measured the same way “influence” can. As David Wilcox sings, “You can’t keep it in a camera. It’s not a trophy on a shelf. It’s not a tale to tell the children. Not a way to prove yourself. It’s much bigger than we are.”

So remember to look for the passionate ones. They might not be the loudest or the most opinionated or even the savviest. But rooted deep down within them is something special – a love for your brand and how it fits into their lives. And that is the acorn you need to grow that oak.


  • April 23, 2010


    Hey, Spike.

    Could you clarify what you mean when you say:

    Remember, passion can be fabricated. But passion can’t.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • April 23, 2010

    Spike Jones

    That was a case of my brain getting ahead of my fingers. It should have been (and is now): Influence can be fabricated. But passion can’t.

  • April 23, 2010

    Andrew Brynjulson

    Passion cannot be fabricated, but can it be grown? Seems like passion has to come from somewhere, so it should be our responsibility as marketers — hate that word — to spark that passion and continually earn the love. Thoughts?

    Thanks for this post.

  • April 26, 2010

    Bryan Jones

    You had me @ “As David Wilcox sings…”

  • May 14, 2010

    Steven Wagner

    I would say TRUST can beat passion. If your customers trust your brand because it connects and performs for them, then you can do anything. TRUST is earned.

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