Summary of Superfandom

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Superfandom book summary

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging


Squishable COO Zoe Fraade-Blanar and CEO Aaron M. Glazer provide a tour of the expanding world of pop culture fandom. The authors examine marketing, fan motivations and fan activities ranging from wearing costumes as Star Wars “cosplayers” to working hard to resurrect discontinued Polaroid instant film. Their book describes the allure and dangers that fans hold for marketers of pop culture. It shows how companies such as Disney and Cards Against Humanity successfully maintain mutually beneficial fan relationships. It also offers cautionary tales of fan engagement initiatives that backfired. Fraade-Blanar and Glazer provide an entertaining, informative and practical mix of subculture anthropology and marketing theory. Their insights are relevant reading for marketers, content creators and mavens of pop culture…and these days, pretty much everything is pop culture.

About the Authors

Zoe Fraade-Blanar is a faculty member of New York University’s Journalism and Interactive Telecommunications Programs and COO of Squishable where Aaron M. Glazer is CEO and co-founder.


A Complex Phenomenon

Fandom is not a new phenomenon. The rise of the Internet and other platforms simply broadens its power and its reach. The roots of fandom cropped up among the earliest humans when tribes bonded over spiritual beliefs or disdain for outsiders. In the 19th century, the term “musicomania” arose to describe a new, rapturous devotion to opera stars and concert musicians.

Today’s fans are more active and have infinitely more arenas in which to indulge their passions. Accessing a “fan object” is easier than ever. A Star Wars fan, for instance, can experience the Star Wars universe through its movies, books, comics, fan conventions, theme-park rides and “cosplay” contests. The Internet and digital technology give fans myriad opportunities to connect. This brand devotion can seem like a gift made just for marketers. Fans are a demographic almost certain to buy your product and its spinoffs. They voluntarily evangelize about the object of their fandom. But the relationship between the fans and the producer of a “fan object” is complex. If marketers aren’t sensitive to fans’ unique...

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