Innovation Festival 2018: Fans for life

Martin and the Explain team


It was once said that “People don’t buy things for logical reasons, they buy for emotional reasons”.

And in a world where competition for business is fiercer than ever before, it is essential to turn bystanders into customers, and customers into fans and advocates.

The subject is being explored in depth at Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival this summer in the ‘Fans for life’ sprint and headed up by research experts at Explain Market Research.

They’ll be leading a team exploring the issue of how companies can build advocacy with their customers.

Explain will be looking at how companies from across the world build fan bases and what they can do to turn customers into supporters, whilst also investigating what happens when you have fans who aren′t customers and the challenges this poses for brands, companies and organisations.

Explain Managing Director, Kim Davis said: “We are incredibly excited to be leading such a universally relevant sprint at this years Innovation Festival. The topic of customer advocacy and ‘Fans for life’ is one that we recognise as being central to future proofing the success of businesses – our sprint will design models which will lead to active participation in services and or products.”

Northumbrian Water’s Martin Jackson, who will be leading the sprint, said: “For a water company to be looking at this kind of thinking and exploring the idea of viewing our customers, not only as customers but as fans and supporters of what we do, is truly ground-breaking and it could revolutionise the whole industry.”

To find out what the ‘Fans for life’ sprint team comes up with during the festival you can follow all of the action live on social media by following @northumbrianh2o on Twitter and Facebook or by visiting


For further media information, call 0191 3015678.

Northumbrian Water Limited supplies 2.7 million customers in the North East with both water and sewerage services, trading as Northumbrian Water, and 1.8 million customers in the South East with water services, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.

In 2017 Northumbrian Water was named Utility of the Year at the Utility Week Awards, for the second time in four years. The company has followed this up in 2018 by winning the UK Excellence Award at the British Quality Foundation (BQF) UK Excellence Awards, and Water Company of the Year at the Water Industry Achievement Awards. Northumbrian Water also received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for sustainable development for a second time in 2014, which is accredited for five years. This recognises the company as a business which benefits the environment, society and the economy.

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