When does fandom take hold?

photo by rileyroxx via flickr

“Oh, I’m a BIG fan.”

“Yeah, I guess I’m a fan.”

“Nope. Not a fan.”

When, exactly, do you become a fan of something? And obviously, there are many different tiers of fandom, which we’ll save for another time. But when does it take root? What is that moment when you go from being aware of something to wanting to be associated with it? That band. That car company. That jeans company. That computer. That brand.

Is there a switch inside your head? Is there some sort of chemical reaction that takes place? I dunno. What I DO know is that it doesn’t happen with you follow someone on Twitter. It doesn’t happen when you read a flyer or brochure. And it sure as hell doesn’t happen when you click a button on Facebook.

To help someone make that transition from bystander to fan takes an experience. A remarkable interaction. And get this: the more tailored and personal the experience, the better your chances will be. There are a LOT of people who come to a concert, but each and everyone of them have their own favorite song and their own story to tell about how they discovered that band, how they shared it with others and even their own experience at that concert is different.

You can’t create blanket remarkable experiences. So quit trying. You EARN fans. One by one. Because that way, each fan feels special. And that way, you’ll appreciate them more. That’s what we call a win-win.

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