No celebrity calls his or her fans consumer, customer or user. Major celebrities give their fans nicknames: Beliebers (Justin Bieber), Lambs (Mariah Carey), Katycats (Katy Perry), Smilers (Miley Cyrus), Little monsters (Lady Gaga)… And what does this bring to the table?
Well, it boosts the community feeling and gives the fans a natural sense of belonging. It’s also a great way to increase identification and to feel part of a cultural movement you can craft together with other members of the group. Not being part of that community gives an unpleasant feeling of being left out. It fights loneliness and promotes togetherness as from there on values, lifestyles and even subcultures start.
So, what can Brands learn from Bands?
Stop calling your users ‘users’ or ‘consumers’. Give them a name they can be proud of and which they, as a community, can start co-creating the values of. It is also something that helps the employees of a brand feel like a closer community.
Some brands already do this: mobile Internet operator Mobile Vikings in Belgium does not talk about subscribers but about Vikings, social media platform Reddit calls its visitors Redditors and you are part of The Marmarati rather than to call yourself a Marmite lover. And then there’s the hugely successful Alfisti communities (which runs in several languages in a lot of countries on all continents) where owners and lovers of car make Alfa Romeo share stories, experiences, tips about and simply love all things Alfa.
So, start your next marketing meeting by brainstorming on how you currently refer to your clients and yourselves as employees. Then try to come up with a better unifying term a lot of people can identify with. And then stick to that.
Hot tweetaway: What can brands learn from Justin’s Beliebers, Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters and Mariah’s Lambs? insit.es/1sWJrSa by @hakimzemni #bandsnbrands
The question we are trying to address in this #bandsnbrands series is simple, really: What can marketing learn from celebrity marketing? Tune in on these celebrity-inspired tips, tricks & ideas and discover what brands can learn from bands!