The UNRVLD Formula
Fandom is quickly becoming the dominant cultural and commercial currency. We’ve used our 20+ years’ experience in creating fan orientated marketing strategies within a range of industries to develop a formula for building fandom. Whether you're looking to turn fans into customers, or customers into loyal fans, the following 7 key digital enablers are designed to drive engagement and build a profitable fanbase for your business. If you want to learn more on this topic, register for our Fuelling Fandom: Breakfast Roundtable, June 15, to discuss actionable strategies for your brand.
1. Own Your Market
Brands must be clear on who they are targeting with their products and services in order to build real emotional affinity with their chosen audience. Whether the target audience is driven by geography, demography or attitude, it is always crucial to put them at the centre of your brand's digital experience. By not deviating from this bracket, everything you do can be aimed at their needs.
2. Promote Purpose
If a brand does not have an explicit identity, fans are unlikely to identify with it. To develop loyal fans, brands must foster specific values. From a digital perspective, this can be achieved by having a dedicated space on your platform to discuss your purpose or wider impact; but also, more importantly by ensuring these values form a key part of your content strategy and communication.
3. Establish Proximity
The key ingredient for true fandom is genuine, meaningful and active human connection. To build an amazing tribe of loyal and passionate fans, you need to invest in nurturing relationships with your followers, subscribers, members and customers. This can be through both physical and virtual means; used to bring fans together around key events to foster a genuine connection.
4. Invest In DTC
Brands that are dependent on third party aggregators, portals, broadcasters or social platforms, struggle to build deep relationships with their customers. Having an owned dedicated digital platform enables you to deliver a fully branded experience. By creating a DTC channel, brands can gain control over customers’ data. This owned, first-party data, both behavioural and transactional, becomes a business’ biggest asset.
5. Reward Your VIPs
Fanatical customers are a brand’s best promoter and looking after them is key. Fan achievement can mean many things, but its essence is that fans can move up in the community by participating and contributing value. Sometimes these achievements have financial incentives, but more often than not the real reward will be in recognising fans’ contributions by attributing some kind of reputation signal or community status.
6. Foster Community
Being part of a tribe ultimately gives us a sense of belonging and security that breeds loyalty. Brands that target consumers must think of creative ways to develop and cultivate these lasting human connections. This can be done through a community-powered marketing programme that enables fans to connect with each other through multiple touchpoints, creating a space for a community to develop.
7. Offer a Stake
A fan’s level of engagement is so personal that they see themselves as part of the team community or brand and share a sense of ownership and responsibility for it. Brands are now recognising the power of this and are encouraging creators within their ecosystem. Some brands are giving fans in their community a chance to win a share in the brand equity as well in return for user generated content.