Dallas-Based Fancorps Rewards Your Fans’ Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

May 17, 2012

4:00 pm

Who’s your favorite band on earth?  Nickelback?  Just go with it.  You love Nickleback so much, that you can’t help but sing their praises at every available opportunity (both literally and figuratively).  You share all their videos on Facebook.  You email all your friends their local concert dates.  You leave five-star reviews on Amazon for all of their albums – only because six stars isn’t an option.  You have a picture of Chad Kroeger tattooed across your back (in a nickel shade, of course).

All of this is done entirely organically.  Imagine the potential increase in engagement with the Nickelback brand if you were to be rewarded for sharing this affinity.

This is the concept behind Fancorps, the Dallas-based consumer engagement and incentive platform.  With a focus on quality over quantity, Fancorps engages those who already are a fan of a particular brand and offers incentives on such tasks as leaving reviews, sharing content, or taking surveys.  Brands utilizing the platform currently include 7-Eleven, Chili’s, Lady Gaga, and Kodak.

I caught up with G.I. Sanders, Fancorps co-founder and CEO, to learn more about his service.

Tech Cocktail: What was the inspiration behind Fancorps?

G.I. Sanders: Myself and my co-founders all come from backgrounds in experiential marketing and technology. We’ve all been freelancers and consultants in some form and married our ideas of what the perfect platform would be from a brand advocacy point of view.

The other area we all had in common was the music industry, which has typically been at the forefront of social innovation since its inception. When our vision for Fancorps was formed we first tested it with numerous music industry relationships we had. It’s been great taking that experience and applying it now to bigger brands that need to encourage and manage the same type of fan interactions.

G.I. Sanders, Fancorps co-founder and CEO

Tech Cocktail: How does your service differ from that of a CrowdTap?

Sanders: Funny you ask – one of our team members actually just blogged about this exact question 2 weeks ago. The short answer is that we differ greatly from CrowdTap in that any user who gets involved with a Fancorps community is one who is already passionate and loyal to that specific brand.

We provide unique communities per brand, which focus advocates on specific initiatives over a long period of time solely for that brand. It develops a stronger relationship from B2C and allows for a much deeper level of communication and engagement than CrowdTap – which, in a lot of ways, is more about opting in as a “Crowdtapper” and answering surveys about a broad number of topics and sharing information about a wide variety of different brands. One day it might be for Old Navy, and the next for Coca-Cola, then Starbucks … you get the idea.

We are a more long-term loyalty-based solution.

Tech Cocktail: Does incentivizing someone to endorse a brand take away from the organic word-of-mouth?

Sanders: It first depends on WHO you are incentivizing, and then HOW you go about facilitating it. If a consumer already “Likes” a brand, then you know they are already familiar with your products/services, and in most cases enjoy them. They likely already share and talk about these things in some fashion. So, in our minds incentivizing those actions to happen more often is what it’s all about. There is certainly still a level of organic feel to the conversation because they are truly a fan to begin with. Establishing a deeper connection with that consumer and then rewarding them for their involvement is the true value of Fancorps.

On the flip side, if a brand decides to incentivize anyone who shares their message, regardless of whether or not that person even cares about or actually likes the brand, then YES … that method can absolutely take away from the organic word-of-mouth. Because then you have people who don’t even use/like your brand simply sharing it to reap the rewards – not a true endorsement at all.

Want to learn more?  Stop by tonight’s Tech Cocktail Dallas Mixer, as Fancorps is one of the showcasing startups.  

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When Zach Davis isn’t getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail’s Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.

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