This idea is one that I’ve had ever since I finished reading The Long Tail by Chris Anderson about a year ago. From a customer success perspective, I think there is some relevance here… Nearly all of the companies I’ve worked with have a small set of customers that are using their product or service in a way that is significantly different than how it was intended, and yet are still very satisfied with the results. This set of customers feel that they are successful, even if the company providing the product or service provider feels the way they use it is crazy…or simply wrong.
So here’s my point: Why not capture and publish the success stories of these fringe customers, who are essentially your Long Tail customers? While I would never recommend altering a sales and marketing strategy because of a few fringe customers, there is a good chance they are not the only companies who could benefit from using your offering in the same unique manner. For many B2B companies the financial impact of acquiring one new ‘fringe’ customer would more than cover the cost of the related story. It doesn’t have to be promoted in a way that detracts from the core marketing strategy. Plus, who knows? Your fringe customers may just have uncovered an untapped market you would never know existed.