Thriving with a Fan Economy

Inspired by a brilliant and mind-opening presentation about the fan economy created by Bud Caddell, a strategist at Undercurrent, here are some ideas about thriving online through the fan economy; an economy pushed by fans of a certain product, rather than just blind consumers.

1. The Web Has Allowed Niche Communities to Form

While the Web initially started out as an anonymous place where everyone was treated equally, it quickly became a melting pot of ideas, preferences and passions. Every day, people are finding it easier to network with others who share their likes, even if they are super freaky (remember Beirut’s post about ridiculous yet popular Facebook fanpages?) — People are finding it easier to exclaim that “Hey! We’re fans of this!”

2. Spend Money on Fans

Spending money on fans equals more “retention, recruitment, R&D, and longevity”. That’s mainly because fans don’t just buy products, they also convince their friends to try them.
Due to the fact that Web users define their digital identity by rallying around the things they like (Facebook fanpages are a great example), it’s much easier to find cost effective ways of engaging users.

3. It’s Not Just About Money… It’s Also About Listening

Fans are practiced at voicing their opinions, and understanding their desires and motivations starts by listening to them, and answering their concerns. Fans want to be treated like they’re an essential part of the product, and they want people to listen to them.

In order to be fan-focused, you need to concentrate on the following three things:

  1. You have to have a point of view.
  2. You have to have a belief in infinity, as fandom defies space and time.
  3. You have to have an open-source relationship with your fans.

Bud’s slideshow provides a few examples fan-focused organizations. You can watch it here:

What do you think? Can you think of other organizations who use fan economies?

Comments and Reactions

  • Beiruta

    Great tips and an even greater topic! I wish I still had my blog opened to the public in order to try out your suggestions :)

  • Amer Kawar

    Love the concept. Simple and makes lots of sense! Great post.

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