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.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
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
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
About the Authors 283