How do you separate out a fanboy, or fangirl, from your average user? Hyperbolic brand loyalty is an important clue. Over at Techcrunch, MG Siegler's negative review of the new HTC EVO 4G this weekend drew nearly 600 comments. As Siegler writes,
I had just slandered the latest reincarnation of their savior. They had to respond. And they did. Hundreds of them. It was quite impressive.There are all sorts of intangible benefits to this kind of fanbase:
Why is such zealotry a good thing? Because passion is important. If people actually care about Android that much, Google is clearly doing something right. Windows Mobile has never instilled this type of passion in anyone.
- Driving enormous amounts of traffic on the web
- Generating excitement for new products that reaches the average consumer
- Reinforcing marketing from the bottom up
What's crucial about this passion is that these fans are not just fixated on individual phones, or the Android operating system, but Google as a whole. Many see themselves as foot soldiers in a larger, philosophical struggle between the locked down perfection that Apple offers and the messy openness that Google has chosen. It's a meme that Android VP Vic Gundotra highlighted at the recent I/O conference, one that the company will continue to exploit across the entire spectrum of its operations. And the fanboys will be there, backing them every step of the way.