I don’t often make reading recommendations for marketing because, while there are new digital marketing developments happening every day, there aren’t a lot of books that truly “break out of the box” and talk about something new. FANOCRACY builds on fundamentals that have been around for ages, but its message is all the more important in the digital age.
In FANOCRACY, David Meerman Scott and his daughter, Reiko Scott, provide two different viewpoints on how to “turn customers fans into customers and customers into fans.” Why is this important? Because there’s no competition when you have devoted and loyal fans, and there’s not a “race to the bottom” when it comes to pricing. Your fans are yours – now and forever – as long as you create amazing experiences for them and they can depend on you. And the best branding is about connecting people to your business or brand at an emotional level.
Here are a couple of great tidbits from the book, to give you a sense of how great it is. The first part of the book talks about why creating fans is so important, in the digital age. There are wonderful examples, especially for small business owners, about just how to go about creating fans through wonderful experiences.
From there, the book takes you through nine different steps or ways to building your own FANOCRACY. I’m not going to share them because you need to buy the book and read it for yourself (I was so immersed in it I read it in about two days). I’ll just give you a taste so you can see what I mean when I say it’s truly ground-breaking.
Part of what I love is that they’ve included some actual science around how people feel connected and “close” to one another. It’s about creating emotional connections. And yes, there’s a science to this! It has to do with the distance between people in various interactions (including live performances or speaking engagements, for example). You’ll learn about “mirror neurons” (p. 69), and that “Fandom, the sharing of emotional bonds with others, is a human instinct that is hardwired into each of us.” Why is this important? Read the book to find out!
In addition, a lot of what they share is counter-intuitive but, on a personal level, it makes total sense. That is, if you put yourself in the place of your clients (or customers), you see how powerful and engaging it can be. Like giving away free content and allowing your customers or fans to actually be a part of the creation process for your product or service. Or ensuring your employees are huge fans, themselves, to not only keep them with you and help them to love their jobs, but also to help spread the word because they truly love what they do.
As you can see, I could go on and on – but I won’t, because you really should learn for yourself how creating devoted fans is the BEST marketing approach in a digital age. Here’s a link to the book on their website, so you can sample it for yourself! And let me know what you think!