Participation isn’t enough.
Having a more clear-sighted view on people’s real world buying behaviours and thus which consumers actually matter to the generation of revenue and profit begins to gives us a framework for thinking about participation.
Recognizing that brands aren’t simply built upon exclusive loyalty but are highly dependent on vast numbers of light, polygamous buyers – and that growth comes from acquiring more of them, not increasingly the loyalty of current buyers – puts the role of the ‘fan’ into proper perspective.
The people LEAST likely to engage deeply are the MOST important for growth.
There is a way out of this paradox. But it requires us to embrace two principles:
1) Battle for interest, not attention
2)Fans are actors, not the audience
Advertising is most successful when it seeks to increase penetration, not loyalty.
The importance of occasional buyers who don’t buy you often and aren’t devoted to you is further underlined when you look at which consumers matter most to brand growth.
To grow, you need to recruit lots more new users who buy you just occasionally.