This book review looks into Fanocracy by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott.

As soon as I heard that David Meerman Scott had a new book coming out in 2020 I was immediately excited. It is very rare for me to buy a book more than once, but for The New Rules of Marketing & PR I bought the updated edition in 2017 after having previously read the second edition.

I probably make more notes in David’s books than in books by any other author, which you can see by the large number of sticky notes that I have placed in all three books.

There is just so much useful information on each page. Not just useful business or personal branding advice, but good life advice too.

This new book Fanocracy continues in a similar vein, with lots of great advice for the reader to take onboard an implement in their own life.

In the beginning, David and Reiko provide the following helpful explanation of what a fanocracy is:

Fandom is everywhere. It’s the key for any organisation, artist, solopreneur, or other entity to be successful in bringing people together. Fandom spans generations and subject matter to bind individuals together in excitement, purpose, and buying power. No matter whom you’re dealing with, understanding fandom is the cornerstone to your success.

We call this act of consciously bringing people together through a shared endeavour a fanocracy: an organization or person that honors fans and consciously fosters meaningful connections among them.

In a later chapter called The Power of a Fan-Centric Business they share another piece of helpful advice, with the following:

The relationships we build with our customers are more important than the products and services we sell to them.

I think this piece of advice is really important and it goes to the heart of what David teaches about in his books and seminars. Especially with the advent of the internet with pay per click advertising and online shopping, the internet can make the world seem like a more lonely place.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, the internet and social media can lead to more meaningful relationships than would be possible without. It just depends how you choose to use it.

A short while later, in another good chapter called Get Closer Than Usual there was a really interesting section on mirror neurons. This is a psychological phenomenon whereby neurons in our brain fire off when we observe others performing an activity, as if we were performing it ourselves.

An understanding of mirror neurons can help an individual or business gain fans. A lesson learned is that gaining fans is about gaining an understanding of what it is they need and want, and then delivering it. It is about serving others.

Later on, in a chapter called Give More Than You Have To, there was some really good advice on reciprocation and how it can help people and businesses to develop fans:

Fandom is built on human connection, and when you’re given something of value completely free and with no obligation, you tend to share your appreciation with others.”

A short while later there was a really good chapter called Tell the Truth, Especially When It Hurts. In it there were some good examples of how clickbait and use of misleading marketing online, may drive traffic in the short term, but is not a strategy that can drive sustained long-term engagement to develop real fans. As soon as people realise, they have been tricked, it is likely to leave them with a negative impression of that person or organisation.

In a later chapter called Develop Employees Who Are Fans, there was some really good advice on how important it is to hire and develop people who are passionate about what they do:

Authentic advocacy from inside your organisation will inspire the enthusiasm, enjoyment, and passion that create a fanocracy.”

In the penultimate chapter called A Passionate Life there is further advice on the same topic:

The best person at any job is the person who loves it the most.”

This is all really good advice to help people not only be successful at business and to develop a legion of fans, but also to lead fulfilling lives at the same time.

What you need to know

This book review looked into Fanocracy by David Meerman Scott and Reiko Scott.

I thought this was another good offering and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in marketing and branding. But there is plenty of good advice in the book that makes it applicable to anyone looking for something interesting to read.

There was a definite theme and story that was woven throughout the book, which I liked.

If I was going to be critical, I would say that the chapters by David were quite a bit better than his daughter Reiko’s ones. The chapters were at times somewhat lengthy and I am a fan of short sharp chapters.

But overall, I thought this book was excellent and I anticipate that I will be reaching for it on my bookshelf to find the relevant pages with the sticky notes that I left inside.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What is your favourite book on marketing?

 Let’s stay connected

I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby


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