Advertisement

Fans, Followers and Brand Advocates

  • Henrik Linden
  • Sara Linden
Chapter
  • 2.8k Downloads

Abstract

The “fan” concept is multifaceted, and there are different ways of approaching the study of fans and fan cultures. There are both similarities and differences in how brand fans and more “traditional” fans behave, but it is also interesting to note how differently these types of fans are approached by brands and media producers. The terminology used in marketing and business literature is often vague and paradoxical, overlooking the aspects of resistance that are often integral to many fandoms. At the same time, businesses in their quest for a larger market share want fans, not customers, and brand advocates, not followers. But, with the popular image of the media geek in mind, why do they want fans? The most straightforward explanation is that their take on the fan concept is very selective, and rather one-dimensional, and very likely shaped by the “Facebook vocabulary.”

Keywords

Popular Culture Football Club Consumer Society Loyal Customer Fantasy Sport 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Althusser, Lois. 2014 [1971]. On the Reproduction of Capitalism: Ideological State and Ideological State Apparatuses. London: Verso Books.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, Chris. 2006. The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More. New York: Hyperion.Google Scholar
  3. Barton, Kristin M. 2014. Introduction. In Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century, ed. Kristin M. Barton, and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley, 5–8. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.Google Scholar
  4. Baudrilliard, Jean. 1998. The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Baym, Nancy K. 2000. Tune in, Log on: Soaps, Fandom and Online Community. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Blanchard, Ken, and Sheldon Bowles. 2011. Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service. London: Harper Collins Entertainment.Google Scholar
  7. Booth, Paul. 2015. Fans’ list-making: Memory, influence, and argument in the “event” of fandom. MATRIZes 9(2): 85–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bourdieu, Pierre. 2010 [1979]. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Chatfield, Tom. 2016. The invisible ways Facebook is affecting our choices. BBC, May 23. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160523-the-invisible-ways-facebook-is-affecting-our-choices
  10. Cochran, Tanya R. 2008. The Browncoats are Coming! Firefly, Serenity, and Fan Activism. In Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier, ed. Rhonda Wilcox, and Tanya R. Cochran. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  11. Coppa, Francesca. 2014. Fuck yeah, fandom is beautiful. Journal of Fandom Studies 2(1): 73–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Couldry, Nick. 2003. Media Rituals: A Critical Approach. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Debord, Guy. 1995 [1967]. The Society of the Spectacle. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  14. Dill, Kathryn. 2016. Disney tops global ranking of the most powerful brands in 2016. Forbes, February 18. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2016/02/18/disney-tops-global-ranking-of-the-most-powerful-brands-in-2016/#1ca818437181
  15. Duffett, Mark. 2013. Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture. New York: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  16. Economist, The. 2016. Less than ecstatic: The lights are going out all over Europe. The Economist, January 9. http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21685519-lights-are-going-out-night-clubs-all-over-europe-less-ecstatic
  17. Fiske, John. 1992. The Cultural Economy of Fandom. In The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, ed. Lisa A. Lewis, 30–49. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Foucault, Michel. 2002 [1969]. The Archaeology of Knowledge. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Fuchs, Christian. 2014. Social Media: A Critical Introduction. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fuggetta, Rob. 2012. Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Garlen, Jennifer C. 2014. Block Party: A Look at Adult Fans of LEGO. In Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century, ed. Kristin M. Barton, and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley, 119–130. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.Google Scholar
  22. Gibson, Sean. 2016. Liverpool owners FSG brag about “transforming fans into customers” on website. The Telegraph, February 4. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2016/02/08/liverpool-owners-fsg-brag-about-transforming-fans-into-customers/
  23. Gilmore, James H., and B. Joseph Pine II. 2007. Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  24. Giroux, Henry A. 2005. The terror of neoliberalism: Rethinking the significance of cultural politics. College Literature 32(1): 1–19. doi: 10.1353/lit.2005.0006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gottfried, Jeffrey, and Elisa Shearer. 2016. News use across social media platforms 2016. Pew Research Center, May 26. http://www.journalism.org/2016/05/26/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2016/
  26. Gray, Jonathan, Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington (ed). 2007. Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Grossberg, Lawrence. 1992. Is There a Fan in the House?: The Affective Sensibility of Fandom. In The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, ed. Lisa A. Lewis, 50–68. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Guerrier, James. 2015. This isn’t your parents’ fandom. Viacom International Insights, March 31. http://internationalinsights.viacom.com/post/115140819087/
  29. Habermas, Jürgen. 1989 [1962]. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  30. Hellekson, Karen, and Kristina Busse (ed). 2006. Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.Google Scholar
  31. Herman, Edward S., and Noam Chomsky. 1988. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  32. Hill, Vernon. 2012. Fans not Customers: How to Create Growth Companies in a No Growth World. London: Profile.Google Scholar
  33. Hills, Matt. 2002. Fan Cultures. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. ———. 2014. From Dalek Half Balls to Daft Punk Helmets: Mimetic Fandom and the Crafting of Replicas. In Material Fan Culture, ed. by Bob Rehak. Special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 16. doi:10.3983/twc.2014.0531.Google Scholar
  35. Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor W. Adorno. 2002 [1944]. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Hornby, Nick. 1995. High Fidelity. New York: Riverhead Books.Google Scholar
  37. Human League, The. 1982. Mirror Man [7” single]. VS552. Virgin Records.Google Scholar
  38. Jenkins, Henry. 1992. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. ———. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  40. ———. 2007. Afterword: The Future of Fandom. In Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, ed. Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss and C. Lee Harrington. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  41. ———. 2008. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide: Updated and with a New Afterword. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  42. ———. 2014. Where fandom studies came from: An interview with Kristina Busse and Karen Hellekson (Part 1). Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, November 17. http://henryjenkins.org/2014/11/where-fandom-studies-came-from-an-interview-with-kristina-busse-and-karen-hellekson-part-one.html
  43. Jenkins, Henry, Mizuko Ito, and danah boyd. 2016. Participatory Culture in a Networked Era: A Conversation on Youth, Learning, Commerce, and Politics. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  44. Kozinets, Robert V. 2014. Fan Creep: Why Brands Suddenly Need “Fans”. In Wired TV: Post-Network Television’s Virtual Worlds, ed. Denise Mann, 161–175. New York: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Kuper, Simon, and Stefan Szymanski. 2014. Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey and Even India Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport. New York: Nation Books.Google Scholar
  46. Levy, Pierre. 1997. Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World in Cyberspace. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  47. Looking for Eric. 2009. Directed by Ken Loach. London: Sixteen Films.Google Scholar
  48. Marwick, Alice E. 2013. Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity and Branding in the Social Media Age. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  49. McCracken, Grant. 2005. Culture and Consumption II: Markets, Meaning and Brand Management. Bloomington, IL: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Merrifield, Andy. 2005. Guy Debord. London: Reaktion Books.Google Scholar
  51. Okrent, Arika. 2014. The listicle as literary form. The University of Chicago Magazine, January–February. http://mag.uchicago.edu/arts-humanities/listicle-literary-form
  52. Pine, B. Joseph II, and James H. Gilmore. 1998. Welcome to the experience economy. Harvard Business Review 76(4): 97–105.Google Scholar
  53. Polhemus, Ted. 1997. In the Supermarket of Style. In The Clubcultures Reader: Readings in Popular Cultural Studies, ed. Steve Redhead, Derek Wynne, and Justin O’Connor, 148–151. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  54. Richey, Sharon. 2015. For brand success, consumers must fall in love. The Guardian [Marketing Agencies Association partner zone], July 29. http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/marketing-agencies-association-partner-zone/2015/jul/29/brand-success-consumers-love-agencies
  55. Roberts, Kevin. 2004. Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands. New York: Power House Books.Google Scholar
  56. Rosenbaum-Elliott, Richard, Larry Percy, and Simon Pervan. 2015. Strategic Brand Management, 3rd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Sandvoss, Cornel. 2005. Fans: The Mirror of Consumption. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  58. Sansweet, Stephen J. 2014. Foreword. In Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century, ed. Kristin M. Barton, and Jonathan Malcolm Lampley, 1–4. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.Google Scholar
  59. Scott, Suzanne. 2013. Fangirls in Refrigerators: The Politics of (In)visibility in Comic Book Culture. In Appropriating, Interpreting, and Transforming Comic Books, ed. Matthew J. Costello. Special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 13. doi:10.3983/twc.2013.0460.Google Scholar
  60. Strage, Fredrik. 2005. Fans. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur.Google Scholar
  61. Taggart, Eve Marie. 2008. Fans: The Mirror of Consumption, by Cornel Sandvoss [book review]. Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 1. doi:10.3983/twc.2008.039.Google Scholar
  62. Tan, Monica. 2016. Lego: Refusing to sell bricks to Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was a mistake. The Guardian, April 28. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/apr/28/lego-sell-bricks-chinese-artist-ai-weiwei-mistake
  63. This is Anfield. 2016. Liverpool owners change “transforming fans into customers” tagline. This is Anfield, February 4. http://www.thisisanfield.com/2016/02/liverpool-owners-change-transforming-fans-into-customers-tagline/
  64. Waskul, Dennis D., and Phillip Vannini. 2016. Introduction: Popular Culture as Everyday Life. In Popular Culture as Everyday Life, ed. Dennis D. Waskul, and Phillip Vannini. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  65. We Bought a Zoo. 2011. Directed by Cameron Crowe. Beverly Hills, CA: 20th Century Fox.Google Scholar
  66. Zuberance. n.d. Zuberance: Advocate Marketing Experts. http://zuberance.com/
  67. Zwaan, Koos, Linda Duits, and Stijn Belinders. 2014. Introduction. In The Ashgate research companion to fan cultures, ed. Linda Duits, Koos Zwaan, and Stijn Belinders. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Linden
    • 1
  • Sara Linden
    • 2
  1. 1.University of East LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Goldsmiths, University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations