Superfandom How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are Aaron M Glazer and Zoe Fraade-Blanar Hachette 318 pages; Rs 499 In April, Carter Wilkerson, a teenager from Nevada, tweeted to Wendy’s, an American fast food chain: “Yo@Wendys how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?” Mr Wilkerson’s tweet was probably in jest, but Wendy’s chose to humour him nonetheless: “18 million.” Mr Wilkerson’s subsequent tweet, in which he asks Tweeples (short for “Twitter people”) around the …
When does a loyal consumer become a dedicated fan? Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron M Glazer, authors and founders of US toy firm Squishable, have the answers. Here’s some snippets of advice from their book Superfandom.
Okay, yes, you might have a poster of your favorite band on your wall. But, do you follow them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook? Do you know all the lyrics to every song? Do you have a Google alert on for their tour dates, and have you already bought tickets?
Then, you might be a superfan.
Author and entrepreneur Zoe Fraade-Blanar explains the rise of superfans.
[Listen to podcast]
Squishables, the stuffed-animal company Fraade-Blanar, Engr ’02, and Glazer, A&S ’02 (BA/MA), founded in 2007, uses its online fans to develop new products. With Superfandom, the married authors explore the many ways fans—Disney World social clubs, Polaroid film loyalists, Warren Buffet enthusiasts attending Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, and more—influence the companies, products, and business culture of the objects of their fandom. As businesspeople themselves, Fraade-Blanar and Glazer don’t pause to consider the larger issues that might arise via such mass identification with commercial enterprises. That said, Superfandom deftly mixes cultural reporting into a 21st century–economy book to create an entertaining tour of obsessive brand loyalty.
In the good old days fans tended to adore from behind a barrier but now the lines between them and their adored subject have been blurred by the internet. On the show today we’re interested in why some people decide to devote themselves to a particular celebrity or brand and what their dedication does for them.
In a new book called ‘Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are’, authors Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron M Glazer take a look at the current fan-based economy to examine its effects not just on culture but on business, too. Fraade-Blanar speaks to Robert Bound from our New York bureau.
I like the BBC show Sherlock. I mean, I really really like it. I shame acquaintances I have no business in shaming for refusing to watch. I have deeply personal feelings about Benedict Cumberbatch. I lurk on the Reddit forum. I wear the tee. But I didn’t wear it last year, and there’s a decent chance that I’ll have lost interest by this time next year.
Moffat’s lovable sociopath was the sweet escapism that recently got me through a long, tedious project; watching the episodes over and over when I couldn’t type even one more word. For that, it has earned my completely sincere and heartfelt—but probably temporary—loyalty.
May the Fourth be with you! Today is Star Wars Day, the fan-created international celebration of all things Jedi. (Fans of the Dark Side will have their turn tomorrow with their own day, “Revenge of the Fifth.”)
The pun-based holiday is only a few years old, but its vast fandom has already embraced the date with their own Star Wars-themed parties, movie showings, and contests. On the corporate side, Disney stores are hosting Star Wars ceremonies, storytimes, and droid-drawing tutorials, and the Star Wars website would like you to celebrate with some blue-milk lattes straight from Aunt Beru’s kitchen on Tatooine.
And, of course, there will be discounts on various Star Wars-themed merchandise, game access, and paraphernalia.