The True Value of Fans

Market Development with Fans

The Ambassadors and Marketeers

Everybody wants to turn customers into fans! However, most companies focus solely on customer satisfaction, whereas turning customers into fans is mostly just an exercise in lip-service. Only those that understand that real fans need to be the basis for any strategy are rewarded with economic success and sustainable growth.

This has been proven by our research and practical experience from more than 25 years of market research and consulting. This series of articles illustrates how valuable fans are for your growth.

Market Development

Fans are THE Booster for Growth with New Customers & Current Products

How do you acquire new customers? Most effectively and cost-efficiently through fan customers.

Fan customers are the perfect brand ambassadors

For your company or for your brand, fans are indispensable pioneers when it comes to winning new customers. Fans like to share their experiences. They like to talk about their favorite provider; about their preferred brand. This has been remarkably proven by our “Fanfocus Germany” study. All other customer groups (see fan portfolio) tend to be a lot more quiet.

Fans love to recommend

Your best and loyal customers do not simply limit themselves to sharing their satisfaction with your performance, products, and services. They will also actively recommend them to others. Potential new customers are open to these recommendations. Marketing departments have long been working with testimonials, authentically describing their experience, and presenting a good image to the public.

Recommendations from fan customers are even more valuable: they are not paid for, not artificially induced. Consequently, they are unrivaled in credibility and persuasiveness. And: fans are particularly competent, so their advice carries significant weight and value. This is because fans have a high level of expertise when it comes to “their provider”; in some cases, they are even more familiar with the products and services than the “provider” itself.

This makes the fan an indispensable instrument for market development. Today, the fan’s impact is no longer limited to word-of-mouth communication. The central platform for customer testimonials is on the Internet. Through social media platforms, every customer is given an opportunity to provide positive or negative testimonials. And every customer has the opportunity to retrieve such testimonials as needed.

Fans and recommendation incentives

Only fan customers are deemed the noteworthy ambassadors of any company. Only they provide genuine referrals. Many companies try to incentivize their customers to turn into ambassadors and help with customer acquisition. This does not work.

Studies show: Overall, only around 8% of customers feel motivated to become active ambassadors through incentive systems. However, fans who are very strongly motivated to make recommendations anyway are not influenced by additional monetary incentives: Although the majority regularly recommends “their” provider and are happy to do so, only 10% of them take incentives for doing so.

Beware of opponents!

Customer word-of-mouth is not always positive. Negative experiences are spread very often, whether justified or not. This is where you notice your “opponents” airing their anger public. Fans are the solution here as well: especially in social networks, we see fans defending their provider time and again, when they have come under criticism or are unjustly attacked. Fans often do the work of “crisis communication” and reject verbal attacks or defamation. They defend their “star.”

Conclusion: Use the power of your fan customers and use it to successfully start acquiring new customers. To do this, you simply need to increase your fan base.

The Fan Principle (according to Becker/Daschmann, Springer-Gabler-Verlag) segments customers into 5 types: opponents, captives, mercenaries, sympathizers and fans. Fans are the most valuable among them, because they are not only highly satisfied (such as sympathizers), but emotionally connected as well.

Do you want to see, just how your much your sales will increase along with your fan rate? Try our Fan-Ident!

Your Strategy for Growth

More Success with Fan Customers


Market Penetration

Fans are Loyal and Profitable

Fans are THE boost for growth with current customers!


Product Development

Fans as a Motor for Growth

Fans are THE boost for growth with existing customers & new products!



Fans as Innovators and Further Developers

Fans are THE boost for growth with new customers & new products!