How do you create raving fans? Why do people love the Boston Red Sox or the Grateful Dead? It’s not about the team and it’s not about the players. It’s not even about winning.
As a life-long fan of the New York Knicks, I can attest its definitely not about winning.
David Meerman Scott has studied why individuals become overwhelming fans and the reason fandom exists may surprise you. In fact, David’s recent book, Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans, dives into the exact reason why fandom grows and fades.
It’s About Community
Being a fan is about community and feeling like you’re a part of something, and letting the community control fandom.
Once you take control of fandom away from the community you kill your fan following. David and I discussed Linkedin taking over Linkedin Local from the community and why this may be a poor future strategy.
It’s what Meerman Scott calls “Fanocracy.” A brand cannot control its community, otherwise, it could kill the fandom.
“At the bottom line, if you peel back all the layers of the onion, what you get to is we become fans of something because initially, because we like that thing.
The Red Sox, The Grateful Dead, in your case the Eagles or Pink Floyd. But then what you end up continually liking that thing over a long of time; It’s because of the true human connections you make with other people who share that fandom with you.
That’s what we thought, that’s what we discovered. So yeah, you might start following the Red Sox because you’re intrigued by the game, but then after a while, it’s because you share that fandom with other Red Sox fans.
If you go to Fenway Park, you’re with other fans, if you watch on television, maybe you share on social media with other fans. Or you go to the office the next morning and share with other fans.”
– David Meerman Scott
Now David says the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online communications. Tech-weary and bot-wary people are hungry for true human connection.
Organizations have learned to win by developing what David calls a “Fanocracy” — tapping into the mindset that relationships with customers are more important than the products they sell to them.
The New Rules of PR and Marketing
David Meerman Scott spotted the real-time marketing revolution in its infancy and wrote five books about it including The New Rules of Marketing and PR, with more than 400,000 copies sold in English and available in 29 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese.
He is a massive live music fan, having been to 790 live shows since he was 15 years old, is passionate about the Apollo lunar program, and he loves to surf but isn’t very good at it.
David Meerman Scott sits down with me, Jeremy Ryan Slate, to explore what makes fandom and what destroys it in the Latest Episode of the Create Your Own Life Show.