What Glee can teach us about creating crazed fans

March 21, 2012

You would have to have been living under a rock to not have heard of Glee by now –it has millions of obsessive fans or “Gleeks” who buy all the available merchandise and never miss an episode. Now it’s time to consider how Glee’s secret formula for creating these crazed fans can work for you.

1. Harness the power of the underdog
The Glee kids are the underdogs at McKinley High, battling the school’s evil cheerleading coach and their vicious classmates but, we love to cheer for the underdogs. Having someone to cheer for is essential.  If your customers can’t get behind you and support you, you can’t turn them into raving fans. Show them what you’re up against, your biggest obstacles and what you’re fighting for. Then let them rally behind you.

 2. Be undeniably awesome
The kids of McKinley High may be underdogs, but they can sing, dance, twirl, shine. They put their heart and soul into it, and that is the crux of this step – be really, really good at what you do. Other factors will get you so far, but you need to also have a truly remarkable offering, fan-worthy and with an atmosphere of excellence. So, put your best effort into every detail of your business and show your best side everyday. When fans expect greatness and you give it to them consistently, they’ll become loyal. And loyal fans are the best fans to have.

3. Take risks
One of the most popular characters on the show is Kurt Hummel, played by actor Chris Colfer, who was a complete unknown previously and a huge risk for the producer to cast, It paid off though and last year Colfer won a Golden Globe and received and Emmy nomination for his role. So, the moral is follow your gut. If you feel you need to say something, do it. If you want to go out on a limb and your heart is telling you it’s the right thing, then listen to your heart. Don’t create controversy for its own sake, but don’t be afraid to stand out for doing the right thing either. Think of Kurt and be brave.

4. Let your freak flag fly
The characters on Glee are quirky, odd,  sometimes downright bizarre – and that’s why we adore them. They’re not afraid to be themselves and their imperfections make us want to watch them. Consider what characteristics you can share with your customers that might show them a surprising new side of you. Don’t be afraid to show a little personality. Your customers need to know you in order to like and trust you. Your customer will see your quirkiness as part of you and feel connected to you and your business. Try it!

5. Encourage your fans to connect with you
Glee’s marketing team are geniuses with social media – their website is vibrant and regularly updated with a huge variety of different forms of content, right down to an iPhone app. They are hanging out in all the popular social media circles and keep their content fresh and constant. By creating an online presence with scores of ways to interact, they’re providing an extraordinary supplement to watching Glee at home. Have you given your customers places to connect with you via social media and ‘show the love’? Share news, interviews and fun previews of what you’re up to next so you’re not missing out on the opportunity to turn regular customers into crazy fans.

6. Your turn in the spotlight…
During sixty minutes of show tunes and Journey covers, Glee somehow pulls off a magic act, giving each of us someone to whom we can relate. And while we’re relating, they touch our hearts and make us smile. There must be something in this formula that can help transform your business into an organisation that people follow with fanatical loyalty. The stage is yours… Stand up and sing it, people.

The idea for this blog and some of the concepts were borrowed from Copyblogger