Just recently I asked our newest full time hire, our employee experience coordinator “What do we do here?” Seemed like a silly question for the owner of the company to ask but I was intrigued on what she would say.
Without missing a beat, she said we provide a “Fantastic Experience.” I was impressed. We’ve never really used the term Fantastic but I instantly loved it. First, because it starts with the word fan and next because of the positivity the word evokes. When I looked up the word fantastic and found the simple definition: extraordinarily good, I loved it even more.
Since launching Fans First Entertainment and starting our new baseball team, the Savannah Bananas, I have been obsessed with creating fans. It’s been the one question I continually ask myself every day.
How do you create more fans?
The language is important in the question. Fans is the most important part of the question as fans are dramatically different than customers. Fans are passionate, enthusiastic and devoted. Whereas customers are transactional and come and go- but fans never leave.
Finally, “Create” asks us what can we build and come up with that’s unique.
To create fans you need to be consistently fantastic (extraordinarily good) and definitely not ordinary. Also, you need to be imaginative when it comes to your experience. You need to challenge the status quo when it comes to the typical experience and you need to do everything you can to eliminate friction points in the experience.
To create fans you need to offer something special, different and unique, something cool, something that they are passionate about, something that’s shareable where they want to tell people about it. Simply put, something that’s remarkable.
When the economy is strong, businesses that do things normally and create an experience that’s just fine can survive, but not for long. Once there is any downturn, it’s the companies that provide the best experience with the most fans who thrive.
These are all big concepts but it often just starts one fan at a time.
Howard Schultz said, “Success is not sustainable if its defined by how big you become. The only number that matters is one. One cup. One customer. One partner. One experience at a time. Get back to what matters most.”
How do you create more fans one fan at time? As we say with our team, every game is someone’s first game. Every day, someone has their first interaction with you and your company. Is it memorable? Is it personal? Is it remarkable? Or is it just fine.
From the first interaction with your brand on your website, to the first post they see of you on social media, to the first email they get from your brand.
Is what you are sharing, trying to sell or trying to serve? Is the way you serve, different and unique?
We have a long way to go with this as we still miss opportunities to Wow and create fans. But it starts with asking these questions.
It’s why, just this week our ticket experience coordinator said why don’t we call and thank everyone who joins our priority list and waitlist. For the past few years, we’ve always called and thanked fans who have bought from us but never thought to call people who just join a list to potentially buy. It was a missed opportunity. But not anymore.
Is it scalable, probably not. But is it worth it. 1,000%. It’s the mindset of one fan at a time and one experience at a time. In a digital world, personal connections matter.
We believe it’s the start of a FANtastic experience.
What does a FANtastic experience look like for you?