Fanocracy: Turning Fans Into Customers and Customers Into Fans
by David Meerman Scott, Reiko Scott, Tony Robbins (Foreword)
In this bestselling book, leading business growth strategist David Meerman Scott and fandom expert Reiko Scott explore how brands create fans and the marketing techniques behind those methods.
The authors interviewed veteran business owners, young entrepreneurs, founders, nonprofits and various companies to pinpoint exactly what causes some businesses to succeed and build fandoms, while others fail.
This book is a road map to convert best practices into buying power, and real world examples from a wide range of businesses and organizations are detailed. In this summary, you’ll get the nitty-gritty, along with the steps that will turn fans into customers and customers into fans (or in this case, members into fans!).
Step #1 Get closer than usual
Personal interactions are part of what makes us human.This helps build a strong relationship between the brand and the customer, as well as increases trust, authenticity and meaning.
Step #2: Let go of your creations
Do your best work, help as much as you can and then the chips will fall as they may. Your work, as well as the human interactions that you have, are no longer yours once given to the public. Even when you post something on social media, members can interpret and interact as they see fit. Let go, knowing that you did the best you can. Trust that the rest will work itself out.
Step #3: Give more than the minimum
Give freely – without strings attached. Credit union enthusiasts will feel especially aligned with this step given that “people helping people” has long been the motto of credit unions.
Step #4: Build identity to become more than the product
Be more than just a product or service. There is a reason people choose credit unions over banks–it’s about more than money, it’s about the experience.
Step #5: Be smart about influencers
Fanocracy recognizes that influencers are indeed valuable, but they should be chosen with care. Influencers don’t have to be big names, but they do have to be relatable, diverse, and talented.
Step #6 Break down barriers
Be transparent. Help when you can. The authors note the importance of relationships over policy. Credit unions will find that this is a highly relatable step. Members love the credit union difference, and that sometimes means going out of your way to help.
Step #7 Listen to re-humanize
Technology can help you understand your customers, but there’s still nothing like good old-fashioned listening. Real world emotions need real world attention. Listen to your members, understand and empathize.
Step #8 Tell the truth, especially when it hurts
People don’t like to hear lies, and they don’t buy into them. The authors give some great examples, like “Your call is very important to us.” Consumers are thinking that if that were true, they could speak to a real human. Be honest, and members will appreciate it.
Step #9 Develop your employees into walking evangelists
People care about how you treat your employees, and your employees can be the biggest fans you have. Treat people well, and they will do well. Advocate for authenticity and passion in helping people. When employees are excited about your brand, they are eager to tell others.
Tech is important, but human interaction is key. Relationships simply can’t be outsourced to technology.
Treat your members the way you want to be treated.
Consumers are smarter than many brands realize. Don’t insult them with lies, half-truths or framing issues with spin.
Treating employees well is key to improving satisfaction, and also creating brand advocates.
“To be successful in a world where fans rule, we must be convinced that relationships with customers are more important than the products or services we sell to them.”
— David Meerman Scott
Test Your Knowledge:
- According to the authors, what makes us human and helps build a strong relationship between the brand and the customer?
- How can you turn your employees into some of your biggest fans?
- What three qualities should brands look for when choosing what influencers to work with?