How centuries-old Fiskars built a thriving online community

After a disappointing brand audit, the scissors company revived itself with the help of 7,000 ‘brand warriors.’

Senior citizens—especially those with a few centuries under their belt—aren’t particularly known for their Web prowess, but Fiskars, renowned since the 1960s for its easy-to-spot orange-handled scissors, built its thriving online community of Fiskateers back when Facebook was still just for college students.

“This was all pretty new,” says Geno Church, word-of-mouth inspiration officer at Brains on Fire, the company that worked with Fiskars to develop the Fiskateers site. “There was no Facebook [for brands], and nobody was really blogging as a community. We were a real pie in the sky.”

And yet it worked. The Fiskateers community has grown to more than 7,000 brand advocates since its 2006 launch, and much of that is the result of using a personal touch.

Brand warriors

In 2005, the top brass at Fiskars were feeling a little worried. A brand audit found that people thought of the scissors manufacturer as rather bland. If it were a beverage, it would be milk; if it were a food, it’d be a saltine cracker.

“It became very apparent that there was no emotional connection,” says Church.

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