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Who Is In Your Fan Club?

It used to be that a great ad campaign was enough to make your company successful. Today, the world has been turned upside down. The guy next door—your customer, neighbor, employee, or friend—may be the most vocal and visible face of your brand.

As marketers, our job then is to turn everyday consumers into advocates and lovers of our brands. So we need to make a huge change in how we connect. The most effective marketing these days features true fans—real people instead of actors, with genuine stories instead of paid testimonials.

We’re living in an age when paid advertising can easily sound hollow if it’s not delivered by a company that exudes a strong, authentic brand promise from everywhere—that includes employees as well as customers and loyal fans. Ask any Yankees fan. They are as loyal as hell—more so than any paid sponsor. And when fans spread the word, other people are more likely to listen.

So here’s my advice:

1. Don't be average. Average brands don’t make fans.

2. Don't be slow. Your customers will move on.

3. Don't be generic. Connect on a personal level.

In short, be remarkable.

Ask yourself this: Who is in your fan club, and how passionately are they promoting your brand?

8 Responses

  1. ckwrites2 says:

    Fans is just such a great analogy.

    An entire generation, maybe two or three generations, of marketers are struggling to come to terms with their job being about more then articulating USPs, updating competitive checklists and good/better/best offerings. 

    This type of post – deceptively simple, elegant and to the point – provides exactly the kind of direction many marketers need to get from where they are to where they need to go in order to continue to contribute to the success of their organizations.

  2. Ted Rubin says:

    Great post Tami. 

    Brands need to attract customers, but breaking through the clutter is challenging. Standout by "Liking" them before they "Like" you. 


  3. Thanks Ted!  Great point on taking the initiative to make customers feel 'liked" 

  4. Amar Trivedi says:

    Brand fans have been around. A customer testimonial was and still is the gold standard. But what fans have now is easy-access (think mobile) to express their brand passion (blogs, youtube, twitter). Agreed, that is a double-edged sword. But in terms of marketing content, it doesn't get better than an ardent fan waxing eloquent. Empower the advocates (inside & outside) and channel their passion into the marketing to Co-create! Co-brand!

    "Happy customers = Best salesmen. Happy employees = Best brand advocates."

    Another whammy from Tami. Excellent post! And right on… sports (and music) fans are the most robust brand advocates. Good case study for digital marketers. Here's an article that links and sync well with your post: Why Do We Love Brands?

  5. Hi,

    Nice and straight post 🙂 Thanks to Ted Rubin for sharing. I am on the first step to fan level.

    I work on this subject and I think today everything is about PR and earned media. As everyone is/can be/will be a media, you have to apply PR methods to discover those new medias, understand them and engage them. As customer is the only constant in an uncertain world, they are your best asset and future. So, as you say, you need to discover your fans amongst your customers.

    I would be interested and pleased to have your feedback on my latest slideshare about 'the hidden value of your customers' (



  6. I love your energy and encouragement to be better than average.; I have another new project that is huge. I have created a few million dollar companies. email me if you are interested in chating.  Pamela


  7. So cool that your post here discusses of the "end of average" before Ginni discussed the concept in her October 2013 InterConnect in Singapore: 

  8. ya ….agree what the ted said…..all the best Tami Cannizzaro <a href=" &nbsp; ">Digital Marketing Solutions</a>

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