Hiebing Book Club: Superfans 

June 30, 2023by Hiebing

People can get fervently fanatical about the things they love. Millions of “Swifties” from around the world, for example, crashed the Ticketmaster site to get in line just for a chance to see Taylor Swift. They dressed to reflect their favorite eras of her music, spent hours crafting beaded friendship bracelets and packed stadiums – that’s an intense level of fandom. Wondering how you can inspire this kind of devotion for your brand? In our agency Book Club we discussed “Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business” by Pat Flynn. If you are interested in creating legions of superfans for your own brand, you can pick up a copy here. If you’re pressed for time, here are our top three takeaways. 


  • Bring Them Together:  
    Turning ordinary customers into lifelong fans begins with connecting people within your audience to rally around your brand story. Word of mouth is vital to generating excitement and engagement around your brand. Flynn says that to get to superfandom, brands have to build an audience pyramid composed of:  
  • Casual Audience: people who have encountered your brand and are vaguely familiar with it. 
  • Active Audience: those already on your mailing lists and who take notice when your brand has something new to share.  
  • Connected Community: this segment regularly communicates with your brand and with one another about your brand. It’s from this community that you build your superfans base.  
  • Superfans: these fans are fan club presidents and won’t-miss-an-event regulars. Their energy trickles all the way down back to the casual audiences to set them on the path to becoming superfans themselves.  

Each step creates triggers that signal to potential superfans that they are indeed in the right place, surrounded by a community that believes and feels your brand is special too. As superfans multiply, so does the brand’s audience.  

  • Open the Factory Doors:  
    Once you have groups of superfans feverishly singing your brand’s praises to all who will listen – and helping sell the value of what you’re offering –rewarding your superfans with something just for them can go a long way. Superfans might be the smallest portion of your audience, but they are the biggest catalysts for your brand and the beating heart of your business. Giving them a peek behind the curtain heartens their investment in your brand and provides an experience they can cherish and share with other segments of the audience, too.  
  • Make Them Shine: 
    We love seeing people in our community do well. It inspires and moves us – and helps create an identity for your fandom. Consider giving them a name, much like the “Beyhive” for devoted Beyoncé fans or “Curd Nerds” for superfans of Culver’s. Honor their devotion by personalizing and sending surprise and delight boxes, giving them premium access to your next brand activation or featuring them on your social channels or website. These stories are relatable – social proof in action! When people see others like them succeeding in engaging with your brand, they’re more likely to see themselves and their own potential in a similar light. 
    These thoughtful, unautomated moments provide an opportunity for your audience to become the heroes of your brand story and create magical moments that keep them shining and coming back for more.  

Searching for a partner that can excite your audience into superfans? Email Nate Tredinnick at ntredinnick@hiebing.com to set up a call. 

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