Fandom isn't a noun, it's a verb. Fans create; they engage; they discuss. From comics to clothing, boundaries between fans and creators are blurring, and in this new fandom-based economy, it's clear: consumers may buy a product, but it is fans who can make or break it.
An essential guide to the fan-fuelled future, Superfandom explores the explosion of fandom and its transformative impact on culture and business. In chapters centred on illuminating case studies, experts Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron Glazer delve into the history, sociology and psychology of fan culture, and how it can change the way business works. With them we visit Disneyland, drink Frida Kahlo branded margaritas, meet the fans who rebelled when Polaroid discontinued its film, and find out how fan-modding of Grand Theft Auto adds value to the game.
The internet allows direct access to this world: businesses can talk directly to their fans, hear their needs and desires, and react in real time. But while the benefits of this relationship can be huge, businesses that exploit or ignore fan bases do so at their peril. It can be very easy to get fan engagement wrong - as IKEA found out when it tried to shut down a fan site. Practical, investigative and reflective, Superfandom is a compelling and convincing exploration of the subject, and an indispensable guide to the brave new world of tech-fuelled fandom.
Zoe Fraade-Blanar is a faculty member at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program and the Studio 20 program at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is co-founder and Chief Design Officer of the crowdsourced toy company Squishable. Aaron M. Glazer is the co-founder and CEO of Squishable. Before founding Squishable, he worked as a business researcher, consultant, and journalist. He began studying non-traditional entrepreneurial models during his time at Johns Hopkins University.