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    Leading companies like Apple and Tesla have found a way of building fandoms around their businesses. There are many lessons business leaders and founders can learn from them when it comes to building a loyal fan base. 
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Having a fan base is all about having a kind of customer that roots for your company at all times and always. If you study the likes of Apple and Tesla, you’ll discover that these companies have fan bases that are interested in their products and are always fanatic about all that happens to these companies.  Occasionally, we read on the news about how millions of people across the world line up outside Apple Stores to get the latest iPhones. This kind of fandom is also enjoyed by Tesla. Tesla through Elon Musk has been able to build a great deal of fandom across the globe that is always looking out for Tesla and its latest news and updates.  Fandom is very different from customer base because they stick with their companies and pride themselves as being a member of a big family just like a football club. In this article, I shall discuss how business founders can build a fandom around their businesses.
  • Build a Visionary Product

Apple Inc. through its founder, Steve Jobs revolutionized phones, computers, and other gadgets through its visionary design. He created a cult around Apple by making them feel that every Apple gadget in their hands was a grip on something extraordinary and something that had to do with innovation.
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By developing a good design paradigm, Apple was able to place itself as first among equals. They also created this impression in the hearts of their followers. With its development of the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and more, Apple was able to make its fans feel ahead of other people who used other products outside Apple. 
  • Control Perception

Perception is all about breaking out from the norm and doing something evolutionary and selling the message to people as a way of creating a perception in their minds. For example, automobiles are universally known to run on fuel and gas but creating an automobile that doesn’t run on fuel or gas, but on electricity can look evolutionary and extraordinary, fascinating to a great number of people. To this end, take away the eyes of people from the normal to the unusual and extraordinary. Therefore, business experts like Ndubuisi Ekekwe argued that companies that want to create fandoms should deploy the Perception Demand Construct which is a product evolution strategy where you work on things that are not evident to be in demand. Yet you go ahead to create that product, being confident that you can stimulate demand for it.
  • Don’t Meet Customers’ Needs, Meet Their Expectations 

Like Tesla keeps raising the anticipation of their fans by creating the latest electric cars, companies in a bid to build their fandom must offer a unique product that is not normal but disruptive, by creating anticipation. As usual, regular companies specialize in meeting the needs of customers.
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On the other hand, Great companies specialize in meeting the Expectations of their fans. Like great movie companies that offer their fans a glimpse into their blockbusters by releasing trailers, companies that want to create a fandom must inspire curiosity in the minds of their audience by taking them on their journey. 

Concluding Remarks

The secret to creating a fandom company is all about being disruptive and leading the innovation drive in your industry. When others are using gas to power their cars, draw attention to yourself by using electricity to do the same. This is all about creating a disruptive product, hence breaking from the norms and what is popular and known and allowing your customers to enjoy the disruptive journey. Also, it is all about being like the generation-shaping companies like Tesla Motors and Apple who have transformed their customers by developing new bases of competition, where they turn customers into fans, accelerating perception demand and stimulating new market categories or sectors. Featured Image Source: Entrepreneur
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This article was first published on 5th August 2022

nnaemeka-emmanuel

Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.


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