Running a business is all about selling products or services, so we focus quite heavily on acquiring customers. Actually, increasing the fan base is more profitable than increasing the customer base.
First, let me clarify the difference between fans and customers. Customers care about features, qualities, or prices of products, like you do when you're shopping for something. On the other hand, fans don't care about those things, and just buy whatever they're fans of. Think about the iPhone. The iPhone is not particularly feature rich, nor does it have a high performance compared to other smartphones. But many people -- somehow -- like the iPhone more than other phones. Those iPhone fans don't just blindly buy iPhones, the fans are willing to pay a premium price for an ordinary phone.
Moreover, fans' illogical decision-making process cannot be altered easily, i.e., by product reviews or TV commercials. So no matter how hard other smartphone manufacturers promote their phones' technological superiority, iPhone fans keep lining up in front of Apple stores all over the world every time a new iPhone is released. That means if you have fans, they'll just come back and buy more products from you. But you have to keep promoting your products if you want your "customers" to come back for more.
Unfortunately, there is no magic potion that turns customers into fans. However, one thing is certain: You have to have faith in your products or business. Steve Jobs just believed his products were superior and treated them so, and his belief was not altered by any reviews or critiques. (Otherwise, who would have successfully sold a bunch of ordinary products at premium prices?) That uncompromising belief has won over many people and has turned them into fans. So, always believe in your products, your business, or yourself.
© March, 2013