Marketers are obsessed with size. Especially size of market, and they often spend billions of dollars chasing the biggest market of all: New Customers.
And yet, rock stars follow a completely different marketing path. Instead of marketing to New Customers, they go out of their way to create experiences and engagement with their biggest fans. Lady Gaga created LittleMonsters.com to cater specifically to her most hardcore fans. Taylor Swift has T-Parties just for a handful of her biggest fans at each concert. Amanda Palmer does secret shows where she usually gives away tickets to her biggest fans, even to the point of excluding ‘New Customers’ from the selection process.
Notice the complete difference between how most brands and most rock stars market. Most brands market completely to New Customers, even to the point of all but ignoring their Brand Advocates or Fans. While on the flipside, rock stars go out of their way to connect with their biggest fans, even to the point of ignoring New Customers.
What do rock stars know that most brands do not? Rock stars understand that Fans Have Gravity.
Think about your favorite restaurant. The one you always take out-of-town guests to when you want them to experience the ‘best’ your city has to offer.
How many people have you encouraged to visit that restaurant in the last year? Your loyalty and excitement for that restaurant is attractive to other people. Your friends and the people you talk to about the restaurant are more likely to visit it because of interacting with you.
Why does this happen? Because…
1 – Fans are more trustworthy than brands. When a brand runs a commercial saying they are awesome, we don’t believe it, but when a fan says the same thing, we do.
2 – Fans have passion, and passion is sexy. Fans are genuinely excited about the brands they love, and their passion is infectious.
3 – Fans want others customers to be fans as well. Fans love their favorite brand for whatever reason and want to share that love with others.
So if fans have gravity and pull other customers to them, what happens when multiple fans are in the same place? Their ability to attract others becomes stronger. This is why rock stars focus on connecting their biggest fans to each other. Simply being in the same space with other people that love the same rock star helps validate that love for each fan. It makes their ability to attract other people to them and the rock star that much stronger.
Rock stars relentlessly focus on connecting with their most rabid fans ONLY, even at the expense of connecting with new customers. Look at concerts: Concerts are the lifeblood of every successful musician’s career. They are cash cows for the music industry, and always have been. Why? Because they are events designed to appeal to the rock star’s hardcore fans only. The person that has never heard a U2 song would think you were a fool to pay $100 for a U2 concert ticket, but the U2 fan would not only do so, he’d happily stand in line for 3 days just for the privilege. For the fans, concerts are a way to get special access to their favorite rock star. They can be a few feet away from them while they perform. They can get an autograph after the show. ‘New Customers’ of the rock star have no interest in any of this, and that’s why the rock star doesn’t market to them. They connect with their biggest fans and create magical experiences for them.
How much money is your company leaving on the table by not connecting with your biggest fans and creating amazing experiences for them?