Creating Superfans with Brittany Hodak, Episode #153

How do you create a superfan of you or your business? What is the secret sauce that takes a musician from a talented person to a worldwide phenomenon? Brittany Hodak—an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and international keynote speaker—has the answers.

As an accomplished speaker, she’s been invited to audiences and organizations across the world including American Express, We Work, Compassion International, Sony Music, and the United Nations to speak on customer experience.

She is the co-founder of The Superfan Company (now “Bright Ideas Only”), a multi-million-dollar fan engagement agency that has created successful campaigns and products for globally known brands including Walmart, Disney, Amazon, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, The Boston Red Sox, and many more.

In 2015, she was offered deals from four of the five sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank at a valuation of more than $4 million. Listen to this episode of Mitlin Money Mindset® for some great takeaways about creating superfans and a culture to support them.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Learn more about Brittany Hodak and her love for customer experience [1:22]
  • How Brittany defines the term “Superfan” [9:41]
  • Why it’s critical to deliver exceptional service [10:52]
  • How can your business create a superfan? [15:16]
  • The impact of social media on fandom [21:00]
  • How brands should handle negative feedback [24:10]
  • Brittany’s most memorable success story [27:50]
  • Brittany’s experience being on Shark Tank [31:16]
  • What Brittany did today that put her in the mindset for success [34:21]

Learn more about Brittany Hodak

Brittany only ever wanted to work in the music industry. When she was 16, she job-shadowed at a local radio station. They hired her to be the mascot. She wore a bee costume everywhere and thought it was the coolest job in the world.

Her manager had seen ads for the movie, “Bridget Jones Diary” and brainstormed with Brittany to create “Brittany Jones Diary.”

It became her job to hang out with and interview rockstars and brag about it on the internet. It opened her eyes to a world that didn’t require following the traditional corporate path.

She became obsessed with the music industry. She went on tours with bands to help them grow their careers. That’s when she became interested in the idea of fandom. Why do some bands go viral and others die off?

It wasn’t necessarily about talent, marketing budget, or their hit singles. As she studied, she realized success hinged on the interaction between artists and their fans. Were they making an impact so fans would come to see them again?

Creating a superfan hinges on customer experience

Brittany launched “The Superfan Company” and ran fan engagement campaigns to help artists with customer engagement. Her first client was Walmart. Within a few months, she had products in Walmart stores nationwide. That led to working with more huge brands.

It all stems from this foundational principle: If you want someone to care about your product, they need to know that you care about them.

Businesses have to connect their story to the customer’s story. It has to be relevant to the needs and lives of the customer. It’s the same with an artist. To break through the noise, you need a compelling story to overpower apathy.

How Brittany defines the term “Superfan”

A “Superfan” is a customer or stakeholder who is so delighted by their experience with your product, service, or brand that they become an enthusiastic advocate. They are customers who create more customers.

You’re no longer just a commodity provider. You’re the consideration set. They’ve found their partner. The more superfans you have, the better the opportunities you’ll have. And customers only become superfans when you deliver an exceptional experience.

Customer expectations have never been higher. People make decisions based on the totality of their experience. They’re comparing experiences across the board. Your customers expect that your experience will improve based on what’s happening in the world around you.

How does this come into play for financial services professionals? Listen to hear what Brittany would do to create an impeccable customer experience!

How can your business create a superfan?

The first thing you need to think about is this: Why do you deserve superfans? What are you doing that is better than your competitors? Why would someone be loyal to your business?

In her book, “Creating Superfans,” Brittany shares a five-part framework, i.e. the “SUPER” model.

  1. Start with your story: Why are you the best partner? What can you lean into as your superpower? What makes you unique? What types of customers do you love to work with? Craft a meaningful and memorable origin story.
  2. Understand your customer story: Superfans are created at the intersection of your story and every customer story. You need to get a 3D view of what your customer is struggling with, what transformation they’re looking to undergo, and how you can help them achieve that.
  3. Personalize: You need to combine high touch with high tech to curate an experience that feels unique to each customer. Do everything you can to appeal to how your customer wants to be treated.
  4. Exceed expectations: What does it look like to take a customer-centric approach to every part of your business? What can you do to elevate something from a neutral experience to a positive experience? What feels meaningful?
  5. Repeat: Customer experience isn’t “set it and forget it.” You’re never done. Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers. What system and process can you get in place to make sure every customer experience is remarkable?

How is social media impacting fandom? How do you handle negative feedback or criticism from customers? Listen to the whole episode to learn more game-changing strategies to create superfans for your business.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Brittany Hodak


Brittany Hodak is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and customer experience speaker who has delivered keynotes across the globe to organizations including American Express and the United Nations. She has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and entertainers, including Walmart, Disney, Katy Perry, and Dolly Parton. She founded and scaled an entertainment startup to eight figures before exiting, and she is the former Chief Experience Officer of Forbes said of her debut book, Creating Superfans, “If you have customers, you need this book. Period.”

Connect With Mitlin Financial

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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