“True fans” and crowdfunding: the winning combination

"True fans" e crowdfunding

Brands that are able to turn their customers into passionate supporters are the most successful nowadays. It is basically a matter of building a community of “true fans” around their brand. The term “true fans” identifies the most ardent fans of an artist or creator, but it can also be applied in the corporate context to classify the most loyal customers. Those who do not just occasionally buy products or services, but become enthusiastic supporters of the brand. However, creating a community of “true fans” requires time and effort: crowdfunding, a tool that not only serves to raise capital but also to build a solid and lasting relationship with its customers, generating a sense of belonging, can come to the rescue from this point of view.

Who are the “true fans”?

The term “true fan” was first used by the founder of Wired Kevin Kelly in reference to the world of creators, artists, and performers to identify the most fervent fans. Those who do not just passively listen to or watch an artist's work, but actively and unconditionally support him or her. In the case of a singer, for example, “true fans” are those who, in addition to watching his videos and listening to his music, buy all his albums, concert tickets (even if it means having to travel hundreds of miles to attend), and merchandise.

“True fans,” then, are distinguished from regular fans because they devotedly support their hero both financially and morally, and they do so unconditionally, even in risky or innovative projects. Moreover, they spontaneously promote his work through social media and by word of mouth.

The theory of 1,000 “true fans”

According to Kevin Kelly's 1,000 “true fans” theory, a creator does not necessarily need large numbers to ensure success and sustained earnings; he or she only needs 1,000 “true fans.” In fact, let's assume that each “true fan” spends €100 per year: that is, it would generate for the creator an income of €100,000 per year, which constitutes a respectable income.

The theory of “true fans” does not apply exclusively to the art world, but can easily be extended to businesses as well. “True fans,” in this case, represent the most loyal and passionate customers, those who not only regularly purchase products/services, but also become enthusiastic supporters of them, actively promoting them and offering valuable feedback.

La teoria dei 1000 “true fans”, applicata in ambito business, suggerisce che un’azienda necessita di un bacino relativamente piccolo di clienti estremamente dediti per raggiungere la stabilità economica. Il numero esatto di clienti necessari varia, ovviamente, in base al valore del prodotto o servizio: maggiore/minore è il suo valore unitario, maggiore/minore sarà il numero di fan necessari a raggiungere l’obiettivo di guadagno.

How to build your community of “true fans”

I “true fans” di un brand sono quelli che ne condividono i valori e ne sposano la missione. Per costruire la propria community di “true fans” è dunque necessario raccontare, oltre al proprio prodotto, anche e soprattutto le motivazioni che muovono il progetto, la filosofia che c’è dietro, facendo leva sugli aspetti emozionali. Occorre, in pratica, prendere i clienti “di pancia”, conquistandoli con i propri ideali, facendoli sentire parte di qualcosa. Trasparenza e autenticità rappresentano in questo percorso due aspetti fondamentali: più un’azienda viene percepita come sincera e coerente con i valori che professa, maggiori saranno le possibilità che i suoi clienti si trasformino in “true fans”.

Una volta costruita la propria community di “true fans”, è altrettanto importante coltivarla quotidianamente e preoccuparsi di mantenerla nel tempo, tramite ad esempio politiche di fidelizzazione, sconti personalizzati o eventi esclusivi volti a coinvolgere e “coccolare” i fan, facendoli sentire speciali. Mantenere viva e ingaggiata al propria fanbase è fondamentale in quanto vendere a un fan già acquisito richiede uno sforzo nettamente inferiore rispetto a quello che sarebbe necessario per acquisirne uno nuovo.

In addition, “true fans,” if engaged in the right way, can become true brand ambassadors and promote the brand spontaneously. To this end, referral marketing programs can be developed, offering special rewards to those who bring new customers to the company. Incentivizing fans to create content on social media that promotes the brand (user generated content), and publicly thanking them for their support by providing visibility.

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Engaging “true fans” in a crowdfunding campaign

That between “true fans” and crowdfunding constitutes a winning partnership.

The presence of a large community of “true fans” is an almost certain guarantee of the success of a crowdfunding campaign. In fact, a true fan is always ready to support his or her artist or brand of the heart, so it is highly likely that, in case the latter decides to start a crowdfunding fundraiser to finance a new project, he or she will decide to join without hesitation. Especially in the presence of particularly attractive reward that leverage his or her sense of belonging. Let's say, for example, that a creator or brand has 1,000 “true fans” and launches a crowdfunding campaign to raise 50,000 euros. It would be enough for each of those 1,000 fans to invest €50 to effortlessly reach the goal.

Moreover, the fact of being able to show a good number of fans ready to fund your project is an important advantage. In fact, the company that is about to raise capital will be able to present itself to the chosen crowdfunding platform with the certainty of being able to reach its goal. As a result, the enterprise will stand a good chance of passing the evaluation procedure and receiving the approval to publish the campaign on the platform.

Finding “true fans” through crowdfunding

For companies that are just starting out and/or do not yet have a structured customer/fan community, launching a crowdfunding campaign represents a golden opportunity to build it and gain an asset that will remain over time. Even once the raising is over. In fact, crowdfunding is not only an innovative means of raising funds, but also a powerful tool for building lasting relationships with customers and creating a community of people who are passionate about your product or service.

In other words, crowdfunding is able to create a real bridge between brand and “true fan,” establishing a deep bond between the two parties that is destined to continue over time. This, because of the very nature of the tool that provides:

  • Direct connection: the company presents its project directly to the public, without intermediaries, by publishing it directly on the chosen crowdfunding platform.
  • Active participation: “true fans” become an integral part of the project, supporting it financially and morally and offering valuable feedback.
  • Exclusive rewards: the company offers special rewards to its supporters reinforcing a sense of belonging and creating a unique bond.

Do you need support in preparing a successful crowdfunding campaign and seeking potential investors for your project?

Turbo Crowd can accompany you throughout the process, from organizing the precrowd to closing the collection, developing effective and innovative marketing strategies to best promote your campaign.

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