From Convince And Convert:
Lady Gaga didn’t become the success she is today based solely on her talent. She did so by engendering immense loyalty from her fans through her music, her message, and the community she has built around them. To anyone in the business community, this sounds like a classic case of loyalty marketing and customer cultivation. Here are seven lessons for building this kind of loyalty in any organization (and they don’t include wearing a meat dress):
Focus on Your One Percenters
Gaga spends most of her effort on just one percent of her audience, the highly engaged superfans who drive word of mouth. Despite her tens of millions of followers in social media, she focuses on the die-hard fans that make up a small but valuable part of the fan base. It’s these fans who will evangelize for her and bring new fans into the fold.
Lead with Values
Gaga differs from her contemporaries by standing up for issues that she cares about and for sharing her values. She champions those in society who feel marginalized and bullied for being different. Customers feel a deep emotional connection when they identity with your values or causes that you care about. Leading with values is not easy, but when done with integrity and commitment, customers will reward you with their loyalty.
Gaga knows that connecting One Percenters strengthens their bonds with each other and the business, so she built her own social network for the die-hard fans called Littlemonsters.com. Fans set up profiles, post fan art and photos, message each other, and find links to concert dates. They even get their own Littlemonsters.com e-mail address, linking their online identity to Gaga. The pop star is on the site weekly, posting special messages to fans, “liking” and commenting on their fan art, and participating in chat discussions.
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