Evergreen Book Summary By Noah Fleming

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Evergreen (2015) is a book written by business strategist John Fleming, and it outlines a philosophy that puts customers at the heart of company strategy.

It examines how businesses can avoid stagnation and keep operations fresh in order to ensure long-term success.

The Evergreen philosophy challenges conventional business wisdom, providing readers with an alternative perspective on business thinking as well as concrete advice for achieving sustained profitability.

With his insights and practical guidance, Fleming offers an important roadmap for navigating the modern business landscape.

Evergreen Book

Book Name: Evergreen (Cultivate the Enduring Customer Loyalty That Keeps Your Business Thriving)

Author(s): Noah Fleming

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 21 Minutes

Categories: Marketing & Sales

Author Bio

Noah Fleming is a well-known authority in the field of strategic marketing.

An active blogger for Fast Company, known for his expertise on the matter and an invaluable contributor to The Globe and Mail business section, Noah Fleming has been included in the exclusive group of experts accredited to teach Alan Weiss' Mentorship Program and Growth Cycle.

His knowledge has made him one of just 36 people worldwide to be given this esteemed distinction.

The Secret To Having An Evergreen Business: 3 Keys To Building A Long-Lasting Company

Evergreen Business

If you want your business to outlast the ever-changing market, you need to make sure it’s “evergreen.” How do you do that?

By creating great content and an active customer community, making sure people really know what your company is all about, and maintaining a strong focus on customer relationships.

It’s all these elements that will help create an evergreen business.

To discover how to make your company evergreen, take some tips from Spiderman!

Everyone has different needs, so treat each customer as an individual.

As important as it is to bring in new clients, don’t forget that you may need to occasionally let some go if they are truly not contributing to the growth of your business.

With high quality content and relationships, you can handle anything that comes up – no matter the season!

How To Create An Evergreen Business By Focusing On The Three Cs: Character, Community, And Content

If you want to create an evergreen business, the three Cs are essential: Character, Community, and Content.

Character relates to the brand’s identity and personality – much more than just the company’s story.

Think Apple and Steve or Spiderman for examples of memorable characters.

Community refers to harnessing human desire to connect.

Companies need to build or nurture a community that aligns with their brand values for this next level of outreach.

Adobe is a great example, with several different online communities designed for their users to share experiences and learn from one another.

Finally, Content refers to the core products and services customers receive in exchange for their money plus intangibles like customer service or marketing that keep the business running.

With these three Cs in place – Character, Community and Content – you’ll have all the power you need to create an evergreen business.

Defining Your Company’S Character Is Crucial For Trust And Loyalty

When creating a company’s character, the most important thing to keep in mind is that it should represent the company’s motivations, values and beliefs.

This simple rule helps customers believe in and trust your firm.

One great example of this is Apple, who told their customers through an iconic “think different” campaign that they show passion for their work and strive to be different.

As a result, people buy Apple products not only because of their high-spec technology but also to show loyalty toward the tech giant.

On the other hand, Blackberry’s Playbook failed badly as a product since they only focused on what they were producing without asking why they are doing it.

That lack of motivation made sure their loyal customers weren’t sure what message the company was really trying to convey with its product launch – which could be one reason for its failure.

This goes to show that companies need something more than just good products if they want customers to stick with them – by creating goals and core values based on real-life experiences, you can create strong customer communities that value both your brand and your products!

The Power Of Community For Business Growth: How Crossfit And Harley-Davidson Reached New Heights

Business Growth

Creating a strong community with your customers is key to success for any business.

Successful companies like CrossFit and Harley-Davidson have both utilized their communities to build their brand through word of mouth, develop customer relationships and increase sales.

CrossFit has created a thriving online and offline community by hosting the Work Out of the Day (WOD).

They use the WOD as an opportunity to connect people and foster communication amongst their customers.

This process has been free, proving to be tremendously beneficial in creating a supportive environment which in turn has driven global success.

Harley-Davidson, too, has developed its community by hosting events and connecting with their motorbike loving customers.

This strategy allowed them to understand the needs of their consumers better and elevate the company from troubles it was facing in 1980s’.

Today, Harley-Davidson is one of the most successful motorcycle companies in the world with over $6 billion revenue in 2014.

The Power Of Experience: How Companies Use Content To Reinvent Their Industries

Content encompasses more than just a company’s products and services.

It also encompasses the entire experience of interacting with the brand, from its location and its interior design, to its customer service and added value.

Take for example, Chipotle and Dell.

Even though they may offer different products or services, their content goes beyond that by providing customers with fresh, customizable options and a unique experience.

As a result, these companies have seen huge returns in terms of both finances and popularity..

Uber is a great example of this too.

They have transformed the whole taxi industry by changing not only what they offer (a ride from A to B) but also how they offer it (through an app).

By reimagining their product in this way, they have disrupted an entire sector as well as dramatically improved customers’ experience.

Understand Your Customers Beyond Averages By Segmenting With Demographics And Behavioral Data

When it comes to understanding your customers, it isn’t enough just to think in terms of averages.

You need to get an accurate picture of who they are and what they are doing.

This is best done through segmentation and archetypes, which combines both demographic and behavioural data.

Rather than a generalized stereotype of your customer base, you can get down to the specifics by asking relevant questions such as gender, age, education level, income, hobbies and spending habits.

To incentivize people to answer these questions you can offer something in return – this could be anything from discounts, free lunches or entry into a monthly lottery draw.

In order to make the most out of gets this information, it’s important to store all the data in a central place so that it can be easily accessed and tracked for RFM: recency (when customers last purchased), frequency (how often they purchase) and monetary value (what they spend).

This will not only provide valuable insight into how customers behave on an individual basis but also allow for targeted promotions and communication strategies according to their buying behaviour.

Companies Should Focus On Rewarding Potential Loyalty Customers Rather Than Existing Devotees To Bolster Conversions


At the end of the day, building a stronger connection between customer and company is what loyalty programs are all about.

To do this effectively, companies need to strategically craft loyalty programs that consider different groups of customers, from those who are already devoted to those with the potential for more devotion.

Too much emphasis on points and rewards can create a disconnect between companies and their customers.

Take Starbucks as an example – their loyalty program is built around the idea of rewarding borderline-regular customers, while still offering special privileges to hardcore users.

But Amazon has taken loyalty to another level with its “Prime” service – members pay an annual fee of $99 but receive special rebates and access to Amazon’s Kindle library in exchange.

Similarly, Jack’s Gastropub offers The Mug Club — where members have to pay an annual fee of $79 but get rewarded with a brass plaque in the bar, their own signature beer glass and four extra ounces of beer with each order!

Overall, crafting a loyalty program that focuses more on strengthening bonds between customer and company is key; this will ensure that customers feel valued even when rewards are limited.

With smart strategies in place, companies could see better results with less effort.

Understanding Customer Expectations Is Essential For Business Success

Customer service is more than just trying to make each customer happy – it’s about supporting loyalty and sorting out those customers who are simply not profitable.

For example, Amazon closes customer accounts if they return too many items and Sprint took it so far as to close 1,000 accounts of people who were consistently trying (and succeeding) to get reimbursed for fees.

Southwest Airlines also serves as a great example of how customer service should be handled.

It advertises itself as a low-fare budget airline and customers know exactly what to expect when they board a Southwest flight.

Growing loyalty can enhance businesses in the long term, something that FedEx learned by identifying the eight weak spots that caused customers the most frustration.

They then worked on refining their processes accordingly.

At the end of the day, good customer service is about understanding your evergreen business and focusing on attracting those customers that fit within your company’s character and community.

How To Minimize Customer Attrition And Recover Lost Customers

An evergreen business focuses on reducing attrition and recovering lost customers, two vital sources of losses for any company.

To avoid business losses related to company mistakes, you can fix your process or deliver an apology.

You can also improve the terms even if the relationship with a customer is ending for good.

For example, one publishing CEO noticed that his company was losing subscription customers after a few months, due to their inability to retrieve their passwords; with a simple website code fix, that was easily solved.

When it comes to changes in customer habits, companies must stay in touch with their customers to avoid this.

If a customer suddenly stops spending at your store monthly, set up an alarm system such as the RFM system—that way, you can reach out with special offers before they leave for good.

Even if customers still end up leaving permanently, trying to recover them is usually easier and more profitable than acquiring new customers—one of the author’s clients did a reactivation campaign targeted at former customers which achieved a five percent response rate (when compared with the typical two percent response rate of new customer acquisition) and generated $50K worth of revenue from 140 returning customers which cost only $3K advertising cost.

Focus On Building Customer Relationships Before Going For Volume To Ensure Long-Term Profitability

Customer Relationships

When it comes to your business, acquiring new customers isn’t as important as building a relationship with existing ones.

This was evidenced by the bakery Need a Cake, who attracted 8500 customers in a single day due to a Groupon promotion.

Unfortunately, their staff couldn’t handle the orders resulting in many unsatisfied people and a significant drop in quality.

Consequently, they lost out on almost a year’s worth of profit and risked some of their existing customers being alienated.

This situation highlights that companies should focus less on simply acquiring customers and more on engaging them with the company’s character and community to promote long-term profitability upon point of sale.

For example, companies can add videos explaining their brand or gift certificates showcasing customer character when someone places an online order to establish the bond.

At the end of the day, businesses should make sure they shift their focus once they’ve acquired customers.

With an ‘evergreen’ approach – continually engaging with existing customers – will bring more returns than attempting to solely acquire new ones.

Wrap Up

The Evergreen book provides a comprehensive overview of what organizations should do to put their customers first and build a strong, sustainable business that can be profitable in the long run.

It emphasizes on the importance of following the three Cs – character, community, and content to develop relationships with customers that will last over time.

Moreover, this book stresses on the fact that companies have to be prepared for some criticism if they want to foster a lively online community.

They should not react too harshly if criticism arises in discussions since it can make them seem oversensitive and drive away potential customers.

Therefore, companies must learn how to effectively handle criticism while at the same time being able to create and maintain strong customer relationships.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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