20 True Fans


There’s a popular essay by Kevin Kelly titled “1,000 True Fans.” It is been the basis of countless studies, papers, and books. The core concept is if you are a musician, artist, craftsman, etc you do not need millions of fans. Instead you need 1,000 true fans who will go out of their way to help you.

The basic concept is these fans will continue to purchase from you over and over. It uses some quick math based on the assumption you can drive $100 of profit from each fan per year, and therefore can generate $100,000 of income per year. The numbers are not absolute. If you can only generate an average of $50, then you need 2,000 true fans. If you only need $75,000, then you only need 750 true fans (at $100 each), and so on.

How Many VIPs Does It Take For a Customer Rewards Hub to Drive Value?

One of the questions we often get asked with VIP Crowd is, “How many VIPs (customers) do I need to participate?” There is no exact answer, but I have found in a typical B2B company, 20 true fans can drive significant value.

Unlike Kelly’s essay, I’m not talking about the direct revenue generated from the 20 customers. Instead, I’m referring to the other benefits they bring in the form of referrals, insights, advocacy, validation, etc.

I would wager that 20 engaged B2B customers can drive more value for sales and marketing than at least $50,000 spent on traditional marketing efforts. This comes in the form of references, testimonials, referrals, online reviews, case studies, social shares, and more.

Additionally, other departments, such as product development and customer support, can save thousands of dollars. The customers provide insights in the form of product testing/feedback and process improvement ideas.

All of this is accomplished without burning out your best customers. In fact, you will significantly strengthen the relationship. Rather than relying solely on stale surveys and other impersonal methods, customer rewards hubs make it fun for the end customer using proven gamification motivators including prizes, exclusivity, recognition, fun, education, competition, and community.

Learn More About Customer Rewards Hubs

If you’d like to learn more about VIP Crowd’s customer rewards hubs, feel free to contact me directly at mark@vipcrowd.com.

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