How to Gain Superfans for Your Brand
How to Gain Superfans for Your Brand
Earlier this year I began designing my own product, The Kingdom of Kuru, a video game. Our goal is to gain one thousand superfans. So I began seeking help in Game groups. I was surprised to receive an overwhelming amount of valuable advice from various industry experts. Their advice was not just relevant to video games, but could be applied to nearly any product.
Who are superfans? You know a few. They own iEverything. They sit in the first 20 rows at a Beyonce concert, or more recently, spent over $100 on PokemonGo. These fans are more than just big spenders. They come to the rescue whenever there is slander about their fave or constantly sing praises about the product to their friends. They can be annoying, yet every brand wants them. I analyzed and consolidated the feedback I received into a 4 point blog post.
1. Make something you truly love
Everyone wants super fans for their brand, but you can’t go about it by putting that desire first, it’s backwards. Imagine if you were a singer and said, “I want super fans even though I haven’t finished writing and recording my first song.” Or if you were an artist and said, “I want people to pay for my painting even though I’m only halfway done.” Of course you do, but that’s not how it works, not until you are an established and trusted brand.
The best course of action at an early stage is to make a product that you and your team truly love. If you love it, there is a good chance other people will love it too, and if you can make them aware that it exists, you have the seeds for potential super fans.
Also, having superfans always sounds good, but there are real tradeoffs. Satisfying superfans will skew your product decisions towards their preferences. Cultivating superfans is hard work and not necessarily the best strategy for a given product initially.
2. Create a unique selling point
Take a step back and try hard to find THE feature or THE twist that would make your product different from similar ones. A Unique Selling Point (USP) is what singles it out from the crowd and make it different and desirable for a core audience.
Once you have a USP in mind, test it with these questions:
1. Is it strong enough so you can build interesting content with the ramifications of it? That’s important because you will get superfans only if your audience don’t get bored
2. Is it really something that people would desire?
3. How can every feature of your brand serve your USP best?
4. Will you be able to produce interesting content promoting the USP?
3. Use all media outlets
To get fans, you need to use all communication and promotion methods available. Find some small time bloggers who have talked about products similar to yours, and send them a link to the website.
Potential fans will want to read more about it, so you’ll need:
- A Website
- Social media pages (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are popular for products)
- A blog or forum where you can show progress, concept art, and fans can interact
Once you’ve done these three things start to network with all kinds of people. Show them the demo, the website, tell them more of what is to come, etc.
4. Be Consistent
Interact directly with people who are interested in the product but are not yet fans. When you do this, your content will resonate with some people more than others. The magic is in making sure you do not leave those who are interested in a vacuum, but continue to engage them. If you do, you might create some evangelists.
One way to do it is to give a few very enthusiastic folks early access to concepts as they might see it as a privilege rather than free testing. Another is to give them nice replies. The more of an effort you put into it, the better your chances.
Marketing and community management is very important. Develop a marketing plan and stick to it. It’s not something you can shortcut, it takes a lot of consistent work.
This will make a huge difference.