Why go for cult? Fandom Madness

When you want to sell a product you’d most likely want to advertise or promote it to as many people as you can so you’ll get more sales. This is not such a bad thing mind you but in this modern day and age, a little ingenuity and uniqueness can go a long way.

I’m talking about aiming for cult status rather than going the usual mainstream path most companies take. Admit it; its hard to be everyone’s number one, even harder is to maintain being number one. And being surrounded by hundreds and thousands of companies that are trying to do the same thing will make it even harder than ever. So why not trying to take the path less taken?

Main reasons why going mainstream is not such a good idea:

Everybody else is doing it

Mainstream can be unpredictable

You are limited to “what’s in”

Why aim for cult?

1. Making fans out of people

Damn you Twilight...

The thing about targeting a more specific audience is that you trade off quantity for quality. You may not have worldwide fanbases but having a group of people that would kill for your product is a very good thing.

You see, “aiming” promotions and advertisement makes “targeted” people feel appreciated and more connected to your product. Thus they’ll form a sort of connection with it. Twilight might be a good example of this. Some people hate it. Some people LOVE it. Please take note that Twilight targeted young women (maybe teenagers at that). Everybody else may hate it, accept it, embrace it, or just down right ignore it but who cares? All that matters is you take care of your loving fans. And if you do…

2. Fans will “PROMOTE” your product

Drunk dude or die hard fan. You decide.

Ask a real Harry Potter fan what he or she thinks of the book. You’ll be surprised by how long they can talk about the story, the characters, the series, the author, even the cover pages.Β  What does this imply?

Fans are potentially very good advertisers and promoters of your brand. These are people that are more than willing to talk about your product in a positive light to other people. Though there may be haters that are hell-bent on proving otherwise, your loyal fans will always be there to smite down these evil ones.

This is especially effective with the rise of new social media. People are now empowered to voice out their opinions and your fans will use the hell out of this new media to claim the superiority of your brand. I can remember the last time a friend of mine posted something about Twilight being the next best thing since the Internet.

Again, take care of them well. If you do then…

3. Fans will breed other fans

The number of fans rised... EXPONENTIALLY!!!

Remember what I said about exchanging quantity for quality? That minor flaw can be solved through time. Remember, fans promote your brand. This could potentially lead to more fans ,and more fans, and more fans. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of twilight fans are big enough to start their own country.

This is a very good thing because you’ll be able to develop a fanbase that have both quantity and quality. In fact, your cult might take over mainstream if you try hard enough.

This is just one of the advantages of aiming for a cult hit rather than a mainstream hit. This doesn’t mean that going mainstream is a bad idea. If you have a unique and crazy enough idea, then there’s nobody to stop you from taking over the world. Remember; just make something good πŸ™‚

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9 Responses to Why go for cult? Fandom Madness

  1. Rhea Lorenzo says:

    I really like your post!! And I totally agree with the fact that you can’t be everybody’s number 1. Just as they say, you can’t please everybody. I think that targeting a specific group of people gives companies the assurance that no matter what happens, they have people who will support them. By targeting these people you gain advocates who actually treat you as friends. Thus, just like in any friendship, it is also the responsibility of the companies to make sure that they do their best to maintain their target communities’ trust.

    • melem1 says:

      Yes and this is very important during a crisis. Once a company is faced with an issue; people will logically think of avoiding your brand. Fans on the other hand will give you a chance to redeem yourself and IF you manage to come back from the grave, then your fans will triumph with you and promote your product.

      So yes, take care of your fans πŸ™‚

  2. villongco says:

    yes!!! fans do promote a product!!! hahaha… though i am not a “twitard” i recommended all my “sisters” to watch eclipse because of jacob!!! and because of my “promoting the product” to my sisters, they watched too!!! hahaha… i do think that this way of product marketing should be used to it’s maximum potential… look at, well… twilight!!!

    *love the photos by the way πŸ˜‰

    • melem1 says:

      The only reason I wasn’t able to watch twilight is because I locked myself in a room while my sister babbles about watching it. My whole family ended up watching it while I cowered in fear. Haha my parents ended up not liking it but the fact is, they’ve watched it.

      The same with the other twilight movie; full moon.

      Fans find ways to encourage people to “try a brand”. That is very important. A new product must first be tried before people know its good. That’s the vital role of fans for your brand.

  3. galeaya says:

    Ah, but I think the problem lies with the “elitist” factions that come with every single fandom to ever exist. There’s a kind of stigma for cult-gone-mainstream fandoms that they’ve become too “non-elite polluted” that the “original fans” turn to dropping out of the fandom or become haters. I think the Friendster-Facebook shift is a good example of that. And you know what happens when the elitists find a new place for themselves: sooner or later, the non-elite will be following at their heels. I think the bigger issue is trying to get these people to stay in the fandom – elite and non-elite alike – but that’s always going to be a huge struggle, since it’s their natures that we’re talking about.

    That said, I can’t really think of anything – fandom, brand, product – that survived a “Friendster-Facebook” type of shift. Haha, maybe this is worth investigating as a research study of some sort (thesis)?

    • melem1 says:

      That’s a good point Erose. I think the problem with Friendster-Facebook shift is the utter lack of “options” presented to the consumers. Think about it; Fiipinos only have friendster before facebook existed. This led to a sort of monopoly for friendster in the Philippines. Thus people were led to believe that everyone liked (was a fan of) friendster even if the fact is people just didn’t have anywhere else to go. Both fans and non-fans ended up religiously going to friendster. Now when facebook arrived, non-fans of the brand who were only “forced” to go to friendster immediately transferred to facebook. This led to the image that facebook is better than friendster because “fans” of the latter are transferring to the former. This had also drew fans of friendster into facebook by making a pseudo-reality that facebook is the new friendster.

      To support this, if another electric company existed, MERALCO would suffer from huge losses despite people having been with them for decades.

  4. Grace says:

    I love this, Lem! Haha!
    I agree that achieving cult status does a lot of things for brands. Unfortunately, not all brands can adopt this. However, the ones who can, should. It’s really a big advantage when your brand has a following as strong as those that Twilight has. They defend, promote and patronize your brand like it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to this world. The challenge for brands though is how to achieve this. πŸ™‚

  5. Jet Tumang says:

    Achieving cult status is one of my dreams. Lol. I think that this is better than being mainstream. One thing I like with having cult status is that you know that the people who are “in” to you are people who are actually “in” to you. There is sincerity of “membership”, unlike in mainstream, where people are actually just being thrown around by different fads.

  6. I agree with Jet. I prefer cult status rather than achieving mainstream fame. One of the main reasons believe that is because I think going mainstream ruins “almost everything. What usually happens is once something goes mainstream, it changes to always cater to everyone. I believe that this is unfair, especially for artists here in the Philippines whose work is limited by the constraints of going mainstream.

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