It’s traditional at BrainPOP to ask teachers to join us at BETT each year. We call them VIBs.
2011 was no exception. We welcomed more VIBs than ever before: Dawn Hallybone, Ian Addison, Charlie Deane, Tim Handley, Adina Popa, Tammie Mihet, Tom Sale , Mhairi Healy, Vickie Bacon, Patricia McLean and James Maloney . All passionate about embedding ICT into classroom practice and all BrainPOP fans. But how do we get such great teachers to volunteer their valuable time to help support BrainPOP?
In truth it’s a million small interactions but essentially it comes down to two things.
First and foremost, the concept of a VIB wouldn’t be possible if the BrainPOPpers didn’t place keeping our customers happy as our No.1 priority. That’s easy to write, and often claimed, but hard work in practice. Working with our Educators is KEY to the BrainPOP experience. Just having a great product isn’t enough these days. We’re a social business.
Secondly, teachers and parents can be just as passionate about an educational resource they use, as the iPhone they carry or the TV show they tune into every week. If you’re lucky enough to find and connect with those engaged customers then it’s important to give them ways (small or large) to express that.
So when you combine a real time, personalised & remarkable customer experience with an amazing product you can, if you’re lucky, invite your customers to collaborate with you. So we do. Having a close connection with our Educator network makes a substantial difference to the quality of the conversations and feedback we can have with teachers, and not just at BETT.
And that’s what VIBs do – metaphorically speaking, they join the dots for us.
Teachers are fatigued with sales people at exhibitions like BETT, bored with endless direct mail and dismissive of cold calling. The chance for one teacher to connect to another teacher, even if they don’t work directly with the same age range, makes a world of difference. It’s all to do with “domain expertise“, which even the BrainPOPpers cannot rival when it comes to talking about using BrainPOP day to day with pupils, and the power of word of mouth referral.
So we implicitly trust our Educators to support and represent BrainPOP. They are our Ambassadors and our Advocates. They simply are “Very Important” to us.
We’ll leave the final words to Jim Maloney, a Year 5 teacher and ICT Leader (and VIB!), from Blackpool: