Movement Marketing on the High Seas

We first met Lifeboat founders, Tim and Alia, at Web of Change, a small and intimate annual web conference in British Columbia. It’s not the likeliest of places you’d expect to meet, connect with and eventually befriend people who work in the digital space. Picture an island community that takes three ferries to get to and that often finds itself without power during storm season. Ours is a friendship that began on ferryboats and was nurtured on a windy west coast beach.
That was several years ago. Fast forward to the present. Tim and Alia invited Capulet to join the crew of Lifeboat to help steer the digital marketing efforts behind their new project. It was a no-brainer for us, not just because they are friends, but because we were excited to be part of something we think matters in our personal and professional world—how we connect with one another. At Capulet, we work with companies and organizations to help them identify what’s remarkable about their work, and then we help them tell their stories. It’s what we call creating “remarkables” and it’s part of a larger approach to movement marketing, or building an engaged community around an organization or product. We think Lifeboat is shaping up to be a big remarkable.

Since coming on board this project, we’ve encouraged Tim and Alia to do what comes naturally to them: honest storytelling, finding the funny, and being the first to identify and mobilize a movement around the friendship crisis. Here’s what we mean:

Stories float our boat
Often, what’s remarkable about a cause or organization can be expressed in a very simple story. It’s why marketers love to talk about myth (read Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs, you won’t regret it.) Time and again, we draw from the archetypes that make up our oral and written history and apply it to marketing. As aptly stated in one of Alia’s blog posts, every story has an antagonist or bad guy. Lifeboat’s is the friendship crisis. A narrative is beginning to emerge from all of the work and research Tim and Alia have done on the science of friendship. It’s been our job to help them craft this narrative and share it with a wider audience.

Find the funny (or, at the very least, sound human)
Tim and Alia have an unwavering ability to speak from the heart. Their voices and personalities are infused in Lifeboat’s messaging. The ability to make people laugh is a worthy gift and when it comes to your own project or organization, the more you do to celebrate the funny/absurd/ridiculous/human aspects of what you do or the cause you represent, the easier it is to connect with your audience. You can see Tim and Alia’s personalities in full flight in this video.

Be the first
Lifeboat isn’t the first to argue that deeper personal connections can lead to a fuller life. It is, however, the first to build momentum and a community of practice for becoming better friends. When you’re the first to the mark, you typically get more attention.

Working with Tim, Alia and the rest of the Lifeboat crew reminds us of how much we love to do what we do: craft stories for the web. Not only are we lucky to be surrounded by good friends, we’re honoured to participate in their remarkable movements, like Lifeboat.


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