Police Break Up Brand Warriors for Star Wars and the Doctor

star wars brand fanOne of the great things about the entertainment industry is how easy it is for its customers to become die-hard brand enthusiasts. There are groups formed in the real world and online devoted to films, books, video games, and much more. The work of these entertainers over so many different platforms connects with people and in turn, people show their loyalty and enthusiasm very frequently. Sometimes things get real though, and brand loyalty goes a bit far.

The Force and the Doctor Are No Match for the Police

Recently in Norwich, United Kingdom, a sci-fi convention was held at the University of East Anglia. In many cases, these conventions are great ways for sci-fi brands and their fans to let loose and show how cool they really are.

However, bringing certain groups of nerds (and I use this term lovingly) together can cause problems, especially when they are all brand fanatics. Apparently some threatening Facebook messages prompted the Norwich Sci-Fi Club and the Norwich Star Wars Club to suggest their members keep clear of each other at the recent convention, according to The Guardian.

But that’s not quite what went down at the University of East Anglia. In a story that is making for excellently nerdy headlines all over the web, things got somewhat violent (maybe) between Doctor Who fans and fans of Star Wars. As Stan Schroeder writes on Mashable, “the two groups got into a heated argument” and Norfolk Police “were called to calm [the] Star Wars and Doctor Who fans.” Fortunately, after further review by the Norfolk Police, no assault had occurred, fans were simply getting a bit too rowdy.

This might seem comical as the secretary of the Norwich Star Wars Club stated in Stan’s article, and it is. But it’s also a great example of the power a product and a brand can have over people when they feel connected and engaged in it.

Not Just in Entertainment

Many companies and fans have been utilizing social media for years to promote conventions like the ones held at the University of East Anglia. Hollywood and TV often focus heavily on their fans, because they are after all, their customers. Recognizing those who go above and beyond a regular fan is easier to do now than it ever has been before with YouTube and other social media platforms.

Doing this turns people into brand enthusiasts. It’s the best a business could ask for from its customers. Granted, it’s much easier to do when you provide an entertainment product as these are designed to directly connect with people. However, if you look at some of the biggest companies, their branding shifts from a focus on their product, to a focus on the person or how their product fits or improves a person’s life.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Nike come to mind immediately. They know that quality branding is about focusing on the customer first, not touting your product like a traditional salesman does. Companies are making connections with people first, and the brand enthusiasts follow.

With the tools of social media, content marketing, and traditional marketing much more accessible to businesses and agencies of all sizes, focusing on your fans – I mean customers – is easier than ever and it can help you shift your branding strategies. You might not get people dressing up and pretending to be your product, but all businesses can use more enthusiastic brand enthusiasts in their corner.

What does your business do to create brand enthusiasts? 


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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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