Creating Fanatical Fans

Exclamation-PointsMy, how time flies. Where have the months gone? It seems like just yesterday we were singing Auld Lang Syne and here we are in December; just a few days away from the biggest event of the year.

I’m talking, of course, about the premier of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday. I was nine years old when the original Star Wars film came out; before it was referred to as Episode IV: A New Hope. It was simply Star Wars.

I remember the anticipation I felt on the way to the theater to see the film. The advertisements for it on television had convinced me I was in for something special. And I was not disappointed. From the moment the movie started – with those iconic blue letters spelling out “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away…” – I was hooked. At the age of nine, I became a life-long fan.

Now that I think about it though, the word ”fan” isn’t quite good enough to describe my feelings for the Star Wars franchise. I was a fanatic. By Christmas of 1977 my bedroom resembled a shrine to my new passion. I had Star Wars sheets on my bed, Star Wars curtains on my windows, and every toy imaginable. If it had Star Wars on it, I wanted it. It’s safe to say I was a fanatic.

Fanatical fans are the goal of every business. A loyal fan base means repeat business, ongoing revenue, and enthusiastic referrals. But building a business worthy of that type of following isn’t easy. It takes an equally fanatical focus on the part of both management and staff to create something so special that, like Star Wars, it almost defies explanation.

To see if you have what it takes to command such a strong following, see how many of these blockbuster elements are present in what you have to offer:

  • A strong cast. It’s hard to create fans without a roster of superstars. Make sure to hire A-listers in order to ensure the quality of work only the best can offer. Pay attention to both those in front of the camera and those behind the scenes. Details count when your goal is producing a hit.
  • A compelling story. Do you have something interesting to share? Or does your pitch sound just like any number of tales that have been told before? Make sure to define what makes you different in order to stand out from the crowd.
  • A unique presentation. The most memorable movies present something viewers have never seen before – something that changes the industry. Everything that comes after is compared to this new standard. Identify what differentiates you from the competition and make sure to put it front and center.

Nearly forty years after first seeing Star Wars, I’m still a fan. I can’t wait for the new movie. Come Friday, you’re sure to find me sitting in the theater, popcorn in hand, grinning from ear to ear; feeling like I’m nine years old again. As long as the franchise keeps delivering the same level of experience, I’ll keep handing over my money.

See you at the movies!

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