Why Every Brand Needs A Super Fan: The Spaceship Founder

Why Every Brand Needs A Super Fan: The Spaceship Founder
SHARE
THIS



The bread and butter for any brand are superfans, but with their strong bullshit-o-meter, what’s the best way to engage and reward them? Kumar Manix, CEO & Founder of The Spaceship, explores this in this opinion piece.

It’s 12:01am and 13° on a Tuesday morning in Pitt Street Mall, Sydney. Xbox fans have lined up at the doors of Microsoft Store, armed with sleeping bags, wearing hoodies emblazoned with their favourite game logo and equipped with food supplies to last them the overnight stint.

You would assume this group of people were lining up for a new product release, or maybe for a secret concert. No. Meet your Superfans; the people that have lined up overnight and braved the Sydney cold in order to attend a series of highly anticipated fan events that Microsoft hosts to reward their adoring fan army.

This is the first time Xbox Fanfest has come down under following stints in the US and Europe.

Image 1 - B&T

It’s not such a strange concept and has happened since the dawn of time. Marketers understand that their success is built on people that absolutely adore their product or brand. As the consumer’s connection to a brand or product continues to grow, so does the level of fandom.

It doesn’t necessarily matter what (or who) the brand may be, superfans are the ones who can be counted on to send a Justin Bieber concert into meltdown, sell out cosmetics from a new store or crash websites in their angst to get an in-demand product.

While there’s no doubt superfans exist and are the bread and butter for any brand, the big question for marketers is how you should engage with your superfans and reward them.

The best activators and strongly skilled marketers are known to take full advantage of potential fandom, and create meaningful engagement with their fans. This could be anything from offering free merchandise in online promotions, discounts, newly released video games, or meet and greets with A-List celebrities, these ‘rewards’ encourage additional engagement and increased brand loyalty for each superfan.

The challenge for brands who just offer ‘fan freebies’ is that superfans tend to have a strong bullshit-o-meter and can smell a phony inauthentic attitude from a mile away. Throwing bucket loads of investment in activations and rewards with zero community support will not sit in good grace with these fans and may actually be detrimental to your brand.

The benefits and rewards for brands who choose to engage properly with their superfans can be endless. Fans offer invaluable insight and intelligence into the hobby/product/person they are so greatly invested in.

Taking the example of Xbox and other major gaming companies, those that are most successful as developers and producers have close ties with their fan community. The superfans know exactly what each game needs to improve, whether that be graphics, rewards or any slight tweaks, letting developers know so they can respond accordingly.

This is a mutually beneficial collaboration, the game remains popular and has a greater life span, and players kept happy and motivated with updates and advances. For certain superfans, the opportunity to test new games from their idols is the ultimate reward and creates unprecedented levels of brand loyalty.

Image 2 - Superfans get early access to EB Expo and are some of the first in Australia to play Gear of War 4

Recruiting fans as co-creators has two advantages: you can use their feedback and data to make your product better and, by providing early (and free) access to the product you build a connection with fans ahead of the release of the final finished product.

Engaging with and rewarding your superfans isn’t just about money, or free goodie bags at events. You can forget about throwing free merchandise, or offering special discounts. What drives and rewards these superfans the most is a personal one-to-one individual connection and experience the most skilled brands are able to offer.

The chance to see two custom-built cars from the Xbox Forza game drag racing each other, or to be part of a worldwide sunset live stream event at Bondi Icebergs; these once in a lifetime experiences become memorable fan engagement and special moments that each person takes away with them.

Image 3 - Xbox Fan Fest event at Bondi Icebergs

For marketers and brands everywhere, no matter the number of your dedicated fans, or the price of your product, it’s important to remember that while you need to reward your superfans, they are also motivated by more than the reward system that follows their committed habits.

Brands that achieve the superfan following realise the focus is not upon individual customers, but rather activating and inspiring an entire community. Influencer marketing is one core way to generate super fans; celebrity or influencer endorsement encourages product trial.

People like the product, liken themselves to a celebrity, post images of themselves using the product, and talk about it publicly to their friends and followers. With the blink of an eye (and minimal investment) brands are able to further expand their network of superfans and use word of mouth to encourage further usage, trial and ultimately sales.

In order for any brand to stay on top in this competitive, highly lucrative world remembering and rewarding the people that continue to buy your products, invest their time and energy into your brand, and act as advocates is a truly key pillar. When it comes to your select few top tier superfans, one-to-one connection and engagement is even better!

Like in any casino, your best bet is always to keep your high rollers happy; prioritise, nurture and grow your superfan base and marketers can watch their brand flourish.

About Kumar Manix
Founder and Creative Director of The Spaceship, an award-winning brand activation agency that is based in Sydney and works globally. Manix is also the driving force behind The Spaceship Ventures, a specialist firm launching globally-scalable businesses for the $90B gaming industry.

Please login with linkedin to comment

kumar manix the spaceship

Latest News

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Pooled Energy Appoints Magnum & Co And The Wired Agency

Swimming pool electricity retailer Pooled Energy has appointed Magnum & Co and sister agency The Wired Agency to its roster, following a competitive pitch. Magnum & Co will handle Pooled Energy’s social media and PR, while The Wired Agency has been appointed to manage the company’s search and display advertising. Both agencies will collaborate with […]

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Masculinity Roasted In Clever New Ad

Think masculinity means drinking a case without chundering? Well, rediscover it (& possibly yourself) with this top ad.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program
  • Advertising

WPP AUNZ Partners With Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program

Advertising and marketing network WPP AUNZ has joined the Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program as part of its commitment to a diverse workforce, and the creation of opportunities that inspire excellence. As part of the program, WPP AUNZ has welcomed its first three interns: Abi-Leigh Dillon (WPP AUNZ), Amy Mccutcheon (MediaCom) and Jacinta Evans (Ogilvy), […]

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree
  • Advertising

Taboo Goes On A Hiring Spree

Taboo has gone a hiring spree. And when it comes to sprees, that's far better than a shooting one or a farting one.

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop
  • Marketing

M&C Saatchi Group’s 1440 Shuts Up Shop

Sadly, M&C Saatchi's 1440 is no more. And chances of it being reborn as 1550 not looking much chop either.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Luke Kelly Becomes A Partner At HBT

B&T's not sure what's with that twirly thing in the press photo, suffice to say a vortex to an alternate dimension?

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Alison Michalk

If B&T's Women in Media profiles were an animal they would be a gazelle or lioness, or even a lioness eating a gazelle.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team
  • Media

Grant Broadcasters Makes Several Changes To Senior Executive Team

Independent media company Grant Broadcasters has announced a number of changes to its executive ranks. Grant Cameron will move up to become non-executive chairman for the company, and Alison Cameron (pictured above) – currently the chief operating officer – will assume the CEO role. Dugald Cameron remains responsible for the family’s investment portfolio and is […]

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shopper Media Group Partners With Mist To Offer New Tech & AI-Driven Capabilities

Australian retail out-of-home (OOH) business Shopper Media Group (SMG) has announced a partnership with AI-powered wireless networks provider Mist. The partnership will see SMG offer new WiFi, analytics and location-based services across the company’s portfolio of Australian shopping centres. Mist currently provides WiFi and location services using virtual Bluetooth LE technology to businesses across all […]

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

Indy Agency This Is Flow Wins Cruiseco’s $5 Million Media Account

Travel organisation Cruiseco has announced the appointment of Sydney independent agency This is Flow (TIF) to handle its $5 million media account. This is the first time Cruiseco has appointed an agency, having managed its communications internally. Cruiseco is the largest and broadest distributor of cruise products in the Southern Hemisphere. With a membership base […]

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Naomi Shepherd

Need a Monday morning pick-me-up? You could stand naked next to the office fridge or read these inspiring words.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract
  • Advertising
  • Media

APN Outdoor Takes Off With Queenstown Airport Contract

Out-of-home media business APN Outdoor has won the tender for New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport. As part of the new agreement, APN Outdoor has flagged extensive development plans for Queenstown Airport’s advertising assets. The new contract adds Queenstown Airport to APN Outdoor’s existing portfolio of Auckland and Christchurch Airports. The media company will hire a South […]