Magic + Generosity = The Fan Crush

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A Riff On Seth Godin: I've had more aha moments with Seth Godin than anyone else, hands down. The latest while reading his post on how brands create fans. "Let me posit for a moment that most people aren't capable of loving a brand, not if we define love as a timeless, permanent state of emotion, connection and devotion," he wrote. "I do think, though, that people have crushes on brands all the time. And a crush can get a brand really far."

Substitute the word band for brands and you have my latest Godin generated aha moment.

Crush describes perfectly what true fans feel for their favorite artists. A crush is what most of us reading this hope every day to create. 

"The first element of a crush is magic," wrote Godin. When a musician delivers something unexpected – an infectious solo, unforgetable lyric or just the perfect note – magic is created. Fans live for those moments, and they don't forget them.

Godin's second element of crush creation is genoristy. In his world of brands, generosity is "when the wizard happily shares his potion, when the device or the service is affordable… (a crush) goes far beyond delivering what's expected."

That's how great musicians make us feel. They generously share a glimpse of their inner world; and somehow they understand ours. It might be as a smile at the after show meet and great, but the fan goes home carrying an unexpected gift. Their fan crush grows.

How artists handle the crush over time also matters. Do they consistently reward with new magic and generosity or is the fan left wanting?  

A crush's flame doesn't burn forever. But it's often smoldering just below the surface ready to be rekindled.   

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1 Comment

  1. Cool parallel!
    There’s an incredible wealth of literature that can yield those “a-ha” moments when you replace “brand” or “start-up”, or “entrepreneur” by “band”… That is, if you’ve at least mildly convinced yourself that “business” isn’t a dirty word for a musician. For example, another great book by Godin, “Purple Cow” – i.e. if you want to stand out, make something remarkable, noticeable, risky (and that last bit’s the hardest to come by). Kiss were a purple cow, The Darkness were a purple cow, Gangnam Style was a purple cow, etc…

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