The idea is that this number of hyper-dedicated customers will do wonders to sustain and propel your business.
Raving fans will purchase every product and service you offer. They’ll be repeat customers for years and pass their loyalty onto future generations. True fans will promote you without being paid. They’ll even help you sell your products and services!
Raving fans display the ultimate in brand loyalty. If your brand disappeared, these acolytes would not just be disappointed, they would be devastated.
Kelly’s marketing concept received a lot of attention, but the basic premise was not new.
Business consultant, Ken Blanchard, published his book, Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service in 1993. The book was based on the premise that taking care of existing customers and cultivating their loyalty is almost as important as finding new customers.
Indeed, having 1,000 raving fans is a fantastic opportunity to take your marketing to another level. Here’s how it can work for you.
Where raving fans come from
Imagine a pyramid or triangle as a visual model of your current data base.
Most customers become engaged with your business at the bottom of the triangle as part of a Casual Audience. Let’s face it, many of these people never mean anything more to your business than an occasional small purchase. Many will only do business with you once.
Over time, some of your casual audience can develop high enthusiasm for your products and services, but many will not. Casual fans might peek at your Facebook page once in a while or open your email, but they’re not likely to give your company any extra attention.
When members of your Casual Audience have been around long enough to purchase a second time and otherwise increase engagement with your company, they can move up the Affinity Pyramid and become part of your Active Audience.
Folks in your Active Audience are more engaged than the Casual Audience. They are more likely to follow your business on multiple social media platforms. Members of your Active Audience will be subscribed to your email list. In general, these folks spend more money with you than customers at the bottom of the triangle and for this reason, you’ll hear from them more often.
The Connected Community is the next stage on the way up the Affinity Pyramid. This is when magic starts to happen because not only are you communicating to your audience, but your audience is starting to communicate with each other. All the energy isn’t coming from you. Others are sharing ideas, innovation and ideally your business’s culture.
The action is at the top
The main premise of the Affinity Pyramid model is that although most of your customer base hangs out at the bottom, most of your business’s action is at the top. The most rabid of your customer base reside at the top of the triangle as Raving Fans. These enthusiastic people will engage with your brand in every way possible.
Every business has clients and customers. But raving fans are another breed. They are super-dedicated. They are regular visitors to your website and blog. Raving fans, like and comment on all your YouTube videos, Facebook and Instagram posts.
These people are constantly engaged, they market and recruit for you, provide honest, helpful mind-blowing feedback without you even asking for it. A raving fan may even consider himself a type of unpaid spokesperson for your brand.
But raving fans don’t happen overnight.
Movin’ on up
To work through this process, you must understand your target market.
Marketing maven, Jay Abraham writes. “If you can describe your audience’s problem better than they can, they will automatically assume you have the solution.”
To get 1,000 true fans, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul because raving fans are created by the moments we create for them over time.
Think of this as a three-step process:
- Provide a rockin’ first impression.
Give people in your audience a chance to get a series of quick, small wins. All strong brands do this. Make a special offer or give a discount. Establish an iterative process where the customer is rewarded every time they engage.
- Be unique.
People must be able to easily differentiate your brand from the competition. Be better without being weird.
- Be consistently remarkable.
Providing a consistently amazing experience is not easy, but with a plan and some dedication, you can do it!
Relationships take work
It can be uncomfortable to achieve this level of understanding. You must be on a constant quest for brutal honesty. When you ask your customers for feedback, you might not be happy with their answers.
Put “you” into your brand. Make your brand human by helping customers identify with human traits such as personality, humor, curiosity and even imperfection. If your team is known for being upbeat, share motivational sayings on your website, on social media and in your product packaging.
Video marketing is another great way to create community among your most enthusiastic fans.
Remember that raving fans enjoy quality and value, but they crave being part of something bigger. Sell them benefits not features. More tips in this podcast.
Start doing a better job of tracking your true fans. Try to get 1,000 of them.