One of my favorite speaking topics is super fans… those crazy, wonderful people who love your brand so much, they invest their body and soul into the product and experiences.
This time last year, the kind folks at Webbdagarna invited me to Sweden to introduce the idea of super fans to their audience. The speech is built around the 5 key things super fans want you, kind hearted brand purveyor. The cheat sheet is below the video, if you don’t have time to watch.
1. I’m not weird, I’m passionate!
Humans are an interesting bunch. Every one of us has our own passions. If we collect stamps, for instance, it’s the most normal thing in the world. We But if we don’t collect stamps… well, how odd! Super fans just want to be respected for their passions. We all have a passion, whether it’s for cooking, supporting a sports team, restoring cars, or watching Game of Thrones every week. Our passion for our interests is a beautiful thing, even if others don’t have those same interests.
2. I’m not in this for the stuff (but can I get more stuff?)
It’s a common misconception that Super Fans are just trying to get free stuff. And sometimes, that’s true, sure. Who doesn’t want free stuff from brands/products they love? But Super Fans are motivated by so much more than free stuff. They are motivated by intrinsic, personal, emotional needs. They’re fulfilling basic human needs.
3. This is ours (thank you for the support)
Super Fans believe the community they engage in is theirs. They believe, despite who’s paying the bills for the technology, this is their place. And to a large extent, they’re right. You build a brand/support/marketing/fan community in order to create exactly that: a home for your most loyal and engaged customers. But there is a fine balance that you must seek in your strategy and in your management to create a positive environment where leadership was clear, but based in a type of partnership.
4. We know more than you about your brand
No matter how much you or your colleagues know about the brand, the products, the company history, your community knows more. When I say “community”, I mean individuals and/or the aggregate group of individuals. If you develop software, they’re the ones out there putting it through its paces 8+ hours at day in their jobs. If you distribute music, the fans can rattle off a long list of details about where an artist gained their influences. Respect this knowledge, and figure out how to put it to work for your company and for the community.
5. Please have as much fun as we do (even though we know you’re working)
There’s nothing worse to a passionate person than a vibe killer. No matter how much you love the products/services/experiences your company produces, it’s easy to get stuck in the drudgery of the day-to-day work tasks. Find a way, especially when engaging with fans, to keep your passion for the brand on par with theirs. Just because you’re working, doesn’t mean you can’t be excited about the products too. And if you aren’t passionate, find a colleague to engage with fans who is.