Thoughts & Ideas

Rock ā€˜nā€™ Roll Branding Lessons, Tip 3: Build a Fan Base

There is nothing quite like the experience of being surrounded by thousands of people, all shouting praise and adoration towards the stage. The lights are bright, the music is cranked. “How is it going out there! Are you ready? Do you want more?” The crowd always goes nuts.

In many ways, rock ‘n’ roll is a religion: people pay thousands of dollars in time and money supporting the band, they wait in line for hours just to get their hands on the band’s latest offerings, they market the greatness of the band by creating fan sites, and some even evangelize others for the sake of their gospel’s growth and acceptance.

This model is crucial for the longevity of rock, but will it work for your business?

Do you want people paying thousands of dollars in time and money for your products and services?

Are people waiting in line for hours, just to get their hands on your latest products?

Do you allow them to market your greatness by creating fan sites and blogs or do your lawyers earn their keep by sending a cease-and-desist letter instead?

Are people telling their friends and co-workers about your business?

A lot of questions tonight. Here are three suggestions for building your fan base, one fan at a time:

1. Engage Others. Talk with people. Tell them about what you do. Listen to what they are doing. Connect and collaborate. Engaging others is showing that you are invested in them. Yes, you want them to be your fan, but you also don’t want to take loyalty for granted. Rock bands know that fans are the bread and butter of success and existence.

2. Have Something People Want. Whether you sell real estate or take pretty pictures, do people want what you have to offer? If no is the answer, then it’s time to re-examine your purpose for being in business and find something that is wanted.

3. Acknowledge Your Fans. A lot of businesses like to give stuff away to their 1,000 Facebook fan, or 1,000,000 Twitter follower. What I’m talking about is something a lot deeper than that. Acknowledge your die hard fans by giving them exclusive access to you. Whether it’s a fan club, a newsletter, or a video shout-out from the CEO, exclusivity to information before the media is just one way to let your fans know you appreciate them. Conversely, remember a certain band’s drummer and a company called Napster? That is a prime example on how to destroy your fan base. Might want to avoid that example at all cost.

Fans are great. They give you a great source of feedback and inspiration when times are tough. At the same time, it takes a very long time to generate a large fan base. But don’t lose heart and keep focused on engaging people, having something that is wanted, and acknowledging those that are your bread and butter.