Direct-to-fan is not Direct-to-consumer

For once and for all – No, direct-to-fan is not the same as direct-to-consumer.

And eventually, all direct-to-consumer brands aspire to become direct-to-fan.

Fans are not necessarily consumers. Consumers are not usually fans of the brands they purchase.

Think about your soap brand. Even as marketers have been working on “emotional” communication for decades now, consumers have a “functional” relationship with most brands. They buy those brands because they need them to solve a problem but they don’t love them (in most of the cases).

So, sports & entertainment brands want fans to also become consumers, and consumer brands would kill for consumers to become fans.

But neither of these two moves is easy.

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