Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans

Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans


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Wall Street Journal bestseller

From the author of New Rules of Marketing & PR, a bold guide to converting customer passion into marketing power.

How do some brands attract word-of-mouth buzz and radical devotion around products as everyday as car insurance, b2b software, and underwear? They embody the most powerful marketing force in the world: die-hard fans.
In this essential book, leading business growth strategist David Meerman Scott and fandom expert Reiko Scott explore the neuroscience of fandom and interview young entrepreneurs, veteran business owners, startup founders, nonprofits, and companies big and small to pinpoint which practices separate organizations that flourish from those stuck in stagnation. They lay out a road map for converting customers’ ardor into buying power, pulling one-of-a-kind examples from a wide range of organizations, including:
·         MeUndies, the subscription company that’s revolutionizing underwear
·         HeadCount, the nonprofit that registers voters at music concerts
·         Grain Surfboards, the board-building studio that willingly reveals its trade secrets with customers
·         Hagerty, the classic-car insurance provider with over 600,000 premier club members
·         HubSpot, the software company that draws 25,000 attendees to its annual conference
For anyone who seeks to harness the force of fandom to revolutionize his or her business, Fanocracy shows the way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593084007
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/07/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 414,555
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed business strategist, entrepreneur, advisor to emerging companies, and public speaker. He is the author of ten previous books, including The New Rules of Marketing & PR (now in its 6th edition and in 29 languages) and Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead. In his spare time he surfs and travels around the world for great live music.

Reiko Scott
earned a neuroscience degree from Columbia University and is now a medical student at Boston University. In her spare time she writes and publishes fanfiction based on her favorite fantasy worlds and loves to cosplay at Comic Con.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
Our Story

The two of us, father and daughter, are obviously different; however, our observations on the state of the world today are uncannily similar. As we discussed our experiences over the past few years, we were surprised at how important our passions and the fandom worlds we inhabit are to our lives. The father loves surfing because being out on the water and interacting with other surfers helps him relax and clear his mind. The daughter loves to draw and share fan art of the books she loves for the same reason. And, over time, we both realized how alike our views are on growing a business by tapping into fandom.

Because of the changing nature of the world, it's essential to understand how to reach all kinds of people, including millennials and Generation Z as well as those of all races and orientations. It is for this reason that we've researched and written together.

In the chapters that follow, we take deep dives into major elements of developing fans, including the importance of proximity to customers, letting go of your work, giving gifts without any expectation of something in return, harnessing the power of transparency in business, and other concepts. Through interviews, examples of success, and a set of strategies, we looked at how entities of all kinds-including companies large and small, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, restaurants, artists, musicians, teachers, health-care professionals, and insurance agents-can tap into fan cultures and connect deeply with followers.

As we discussed our experiences over many nights across the dinner table, we began to consider the ideas that you will now find in our book. It was a sharp reminder to both of us that hobbies and passions don't disappear as soon as one steps into "adult" or "professional" life. We both agree that the myth of unyielding professionalism can obscure our genuine connections. That's why we chose to write this book.

Exchanging texts about television shows or comic books has gotten daughter, Reiko, through study hours that extended far into nights that would have otherwise felt endless. And father, David, has forged deep, lifelong friendships with those who are as passionate about live music as he is.

To love things outside work is to make meaningful connections with like-minded people.

To achieve the success that comes with developing passionate fans of your business, fandom culture is necessary. Yet there's another important reason to understand these ideas, as we said earlier: exposing ourselves to people who share our interests leads us to live happier lives. And when you can introduce your fandom passions and bring in others who are completely different from you and they become fans, you create an ideal environment-a place where great things happen.

An understanding of how and why people become passionate about a company, product, idea, or artist serves as a way to do business. This understanding also delivers a blueprint to bring friends and family together to celebrate what they love, a place everyone wants to be part of because they can be their authentic selves and successful at the same time.

Table of Contents

Foreword Tony Robbins xv

Part I What's a Fanocracy and Why Do You Need One?

Chapter 1 Our Story 3

Chapter 2 Strength Through Fandom 12

The Boston Red Sox: Uniting the City of Boston

What or Who Is a Fan?

The Lonely Chaos of the Digital Age

This Is My City

Chapter 3 The Power of Fan-Centric Business 24

Go Beyond the Product

MeUndies: The Story of a Subscription Underpants Company

Hagerty Insurance: It's Not Products and Services, It's People

Open House Party: The Radio Show That Beats the Playlist

Brookline Booksmith: Building an Entire Community of Book Lovers

A Restaurant in Bucharest

Part II Nine Steps to Building Your Fanocracy

Chapter 4 Get Closer Than Usual 47

St. Vincent: How Going Offstage Made a Performance Go Viral

Degrees of Proximity Make the Difference in How You Connect

Starbucks: Making Connections to Like-Minded People into a Worldwide Success?

The Millionaires' Magician: Bringing Audience Members into a Performance

Re-creating the Entire Recreational Vehicle Industry

KOA: The Very Social Aspects of Camping Under the Stars

Josh's Rainbow Eggs: Treating Customers and Chickens Right

Mirroring and Your Fans

Celebrity Selfies Are the New Autographs

Chapter 5 Let Go of Your Creations 77

Sleep No More: Facilitating Individual Interpretations of Macbeth

Adobe: Failing to See Through the Customer's Eyes

What Is Fan Fiction?

Check, Please!: More Than a Comic Book

West Side Story, Hamilton, and Other Classics Transform Older Works in Interesting Ways

Hot Rods and Land Rovers

The Voice of the Reader

Ubisoft: Embracing Fan Creativity

Star Wars: Backlash and Rules of Engagement

The Power of Engaged Business Communities

Microsoft: Partner Networks and Peer Communities Grow Business

No One Way to Tell a Story

Chapter 6 Give More Than You Have To 107

The Incredible Power of a Simple Gift

The Grateful Dead: Giving Away Music to Reach New Fans

Really, Truly, and Completely Free

When "Free" Becomes Coercion

Duracell PowerForward: Giving Away Millions of Batteries to People in Need

Charlie's Taxi: How One Man Can Compete with Uber

Chapter 7 Build Identity to Become More than the Product 127

Coming of Age and Becoming Ageless

MuggleNet: Where Harry Potter Fans Share

Air Jordans: A Different Kind of Status Symbol

Magic: The Gathering-An Old-School Card Game That Succeeds in Our Digital Age

Chapter 8 Be Smart About Influencers 142

RVCA: How Advocates for a Clothing and Lifestyle Brand Influence Customers

Brand Advocates Enjoy Spreading the Word About Your Brand

Famous for Being Famous

Nike: Controversy Sells. Or Does It?

Sarah Beth Yoga: Developing a True Brand Partnership

Reaching Business Influencers from Companies like Facebook, Google, Kraft, IBM, John Deere, and Boeing

How to Work with Brand Ambassadors

McKinsey & Company: Tapping Alumni to Promote the Company

Experimenting with Chinese Internet Celebrity

Chapter 9 Break Down Barriers 162

Beyond the Transaction

IMPACT: Creating Emotional Context

Grain Surfboards: A Business That Invites Customers into Their Inner Sanctum

Coldplay: Creating a Bigger Fan Base by Bringing People Together

Harmony: Letting Fans Influence Their Favorite Music Artists' Performances

The Rattle: Tearing Down Barriers in Music and Technology

Chapter 10 Listen to Rehumanize 186

The Alienation of Misdiagnosis

Era of Automation and Digitization: Why Your Customers Need You Now More Than Ever

Dehumanization: When the Data Gets It Wrong

How Narrative Medicine Makes the Big Difference in Health Care

Raising the Influence of Teens to Take Charge

Hearing the Voice and Speaking Up for the Voiceless

Triathlon World Champion Becomes a Coach Focused on Humanity

Chapter 11 Tell the Truth, Especially When It Hurts 208

IHOP: #IHOb and Lying to Your Fans

KFC: The Chicken Restaurant That Ran Out of Chicken

Blockchain Technology as a Critical Ingredient of Trust

Concert Ticketing: Establishing and Sustaining Trust with Your Fans

Stop Spinning, Start Connecting, and Begin to Change the World

Chapter 12 Develop Employees Who Are Fans 227

Are Your Employees Feeling Their Significance?

Creating a Winning Team!

Passion Is a Habit

HubSpot: Building a Fandom Culture One Employee at a Time

Part III Enjoying Fanocracy

Chapter 13 A Passionate Life 249

Comic Con: Embracing My Fandom Pride

Creating a Common Language of Connection

Jimi Hendrix Fans at a Flamenco Concert

When You Are a Fan of What You Do

The Girl Who Found a Dinosaur

The Sheer Delight in Other People's Passions

HeadCount: Musicians for Democracy

The Secret Language of Passionate People

Chapter 14 Share Your Fandom 270

Acknowledgments 273

Index 277

About the Authors 283

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