Creating Superfans—Brittany Hodak, Keynote and Author,

Take a moment and think about some of your best customers. What do you think makes them so great? And the real question is, how do you create more of these great customers?

Our guest today is Brittany Hodak, and she shares insights on how to create more superfans for your business. In the interview, we talk about her new book, “Creating Superfans: How to turn your customers into lifelong advocates.” By the way, this is the best business book I have read in a long time.


Treat every single customer and every single employee as an influencer; because they are one.


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.”


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Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:01):

Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth-minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team. And as we open today, want you to take a moment and think about some of your best customers. And I want you to think about what makes them so great. The real question I think you want to be asking is, how do you create more of these great customers? And our guest today is Brittany Hodak, and she shares with us insights on how to create more of these great customers that she describes as superfans for your business. In the interview, we talked through her new book, Creating Superfans: How To Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:50):

And by the way, this is the best business book I have read in a long time. There’s no benefit for me out of it. I just thought it was amazing and I’m so thankful to have had Brittany on our show as a guest. Now a little background on Brittany. She’s an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and customer experience speaker who’s delivered keynotes across globe to organizations including American Express and the United Nations. She’s 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 new debut book, Creating Superfans, if you have customers you need this book, period. And I totally agree with that statement. So, let’s go ahead and jump right into my interview with Brittany Hodak.

Brittany Hodak, (01:44):

My name is Brittany Hodak and I am the author of Creating Superfans: How To Turn Your Customers Into Lifelong Advocates.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (01:52):

I love it. And that’s exactly why I wanted to have you on the show, is to talk about your book, Creating Superfans and talking about this whole idea of that. And just by a small warm intro here into your book. One of the things that I actually loved the most about your book was a title of every chapter. And they all seem to be some of my favorite songs, probably a lot of people who tune in, but I saw one after another, after another. So, I am wondering or would love to know what led you to do that? Was there a purpose behind that?

Brittany Hodak, (02:23):

Well, thank you. One of the themes throughout the book is you can make anything feel different than what people expect with intentionality, with attention to detail, and by thinking about how you want people to feel. And so, throughout the entire process of writing the book, I just kept asking myself, how can I make this feel different than other business books? How can I walk the walk? So, because I come from the music industry and because I use a lot of pop culture and entertainment examples, I thought it might be really fun to try to make every chapter a song title. And then there were just so many more song titles that I had that I wanted to use.

Brittany Hodak, (03:02):

So, at some point during the editing process between the second and fifth draft, I came to the decision that I would make every single major heading throughout the book a song title too, not just the major chapters. And that meant instead of having 20 songs, I got to have 100 songs or something. I think it’s 108 or 109 that are in the entire book. But yes, I wanted to showcase that you can take a different approach to absolutely anything and make it something that your customers come away with, not just feeling how you want them to feel, but remembering that experience.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:39):

It’s interesting how you said that and you referenced this throughout your book, but it’s something that stood out to me right away. And as I always remember that, the song title, it’s just like, oh, Brittany’s book this, the one with the song titles all throughout. So, it worked and I appreciate that. Let’s talk about how you define super in your book as this acronym and you expand on it in great detail throughout it. But for our listeners who are tuning in, walk through that a little bit for us.

Brittany Hodak, (04:06):

Yeah. So, the Cliffs Notes is this idea that the biggest threat to your business is something that may not even be on your radar, and that’s apathy. It’s not people who don’t know about your business, it’s people who don’t care about your business because they don’t have a reason to. You haven’t given them anything to cement yourself in their mind as a better alternative to all of your competition current and future. So, I talk about this idea of creating superfans, which are really just customers who create more customers. They’re those loyal, enthusiastic advocates who have a great experience and want to come back and tell their friends. And the framework that I present in the book is something that is designed to be very simple, simple to remember, simple to teach your team, simple to have shared language around. And it is, as you alluded to, this acronym of super. And super is kind of like a series of nesting dolls.

Brittany Hodak, (05:01):

Each one builds on the one before it, and you really have to start with that first one. So, the S in super is start with your story. That’s getting clarity on your uniqueness, your superpower, what it is that you are making the world a better place by existing. U is understand your customer’s story. I talk all about the need to really truly understand what transformation your customer is hoping to undergo and how you fit into that. The P stands for personalized. I like to say that superfans are created at the intersection of your story and every customer’s story. So, once you get to know the two of those and the first two pillars, you bring them together using the power of personalization. E stands for exceed expectations. That’s where I really get into that intentional experience design and talk about some of the things like my choices to use song titles in the book or color throughout the book.

Brittany Hodak, (05:57):

And then finally, the R in super stands for repeat, and that’s because as Elizabeth Arden said, repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers. Customer experience is one of those day in, day out of sessions that you have to have. It’s not like a do it one time and check the box or set it and forget it. So, that R represents repetition and the word repeat.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:20):

Well, thank you for the quick summary on that. And just from a high level, why are superfans important? If I’m a business leader tuning into this, why does this even matter to me or my company? Look, someone might say, well, business is going along pretty well, I’m doing okay right now. How might you respond back to that?

Brittany Hodak, (06:37):

Well, creating superfan is the very best way to futureproof your business, because even if your business is going well today, something could change tomorrow and totally upend your business model. So, superfans are loyal customers who aren’t as price sensitive, who are more forgiving when things go wrong and are more likely to drive new customers to you. Many businesses today are still competing as if we’re living in a commodity market. They want to win by being the fastest or the cheapest, or the closest to where their prospects live. And that will only get you so far, because those customers who choose you based on commodity reasons will be gone when somebody else all of a sudden is cheaper or faster or closer. So, you’ve got to transform your thinking. You’ve got to go from a commodity provider to a category of one, because people are no longer just buying products or services. It’s all about the experience that those products and services are wrapped in.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:38):

At one point in your book, you talk about that you cannot buy superfans, you can only create them. Explain a little bit more on that if you wouldn’t mind.

Brittany Hodak, (07:48):

Oftentimes people think like, oh, if I just have the right loyalty offer or if I just have the right promotion running that’s going to make somebody love me. No, that might make someone try you. But the things that are going to make them loyal to you are showing them that you care about their business, that they’re not just another customer, not just another order number. That you actually know their name, that you actually know their order. That you actually care whether or not they bring their kids in on family night, on Tuesday night or Saturday night or whatever it is. So, taking the time to show your customer that they matter to you just as much as you matter to them.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (08:29):

Really interesting. One of my favorite lines in the book is when you said, treat every customer like they are an influencer. And that line really stood out. I had stars and it made me think of it differently when you start thinking about just your “average” customer or client that might be coming through. So, talk about what that looks like and how you share this with other business leaders and talk through that.

Brittany Hodak, (08:54):

Yeah. So, I believe that because of how connected we all are today with social media, that every single person is an influencer. I am, you are, you listening to this podcast are, everyone is an influencer. We all have people in our lives who will form an opinion about a place that they’ve never visited, never done business with, never had any interaction with, based solely on a story they hear secondhand from us or a post that they read from us. So, every single customer is an influencer. And if you look at the stories that tend to go viral, whether they’re good or bad, whether it’s something exceptional happening or something awful happening, it’s almost never celebrities. It’s regular people who’ve shared an experience, good or bad, and that’s caught on because it resonated with people. So, every single one of your customers is an influencer. And the other thing that’s so important to remember is that every single employee is in the experience department, because those employees are the ones on the front lines very often creating those experiences that the customers then go and talk about.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (10:04):

That’s really, really rich. Again, it was just one of those moments. You read something and it just like clicks. Brilliant. I love that concept there. You also talk about affinity and advocacy. And I think these terms oftentimes are used sometimes interchangeably, and I’d love for you to explain how they’re different.

Brittany Hodak, (10:25):

Sure. So, in the book I talk about this concept of a ladder to super fandom and this different rungs, if you will, of where someone finds themself when they think about your business. And the idea behind it is that this force that I talk about again and again in the book, which is apathy, can knock people off the rung at any point. So, as they’re climbing the ladder, they can fall off like a carnival ladder. And the top two rungs are affinity and advocacy. And the simplest way to define the difference between the two is another A word that I use in the book, which is amplification. When someone likes your brand and is somewhat loyal to your brand, I would call that affinity. They like you, they’re going to probably come back. They’re less price sensitive, they’re more likely to be loyal.

Brittany Hodak, (11:10):

But when you add in that element of amplification, when you have done something that touches that customer in a way to where they can’t help but talk about it, they just feel compelled to post on social media or to tell their next door neighbor or to record a little video about it. That’s the advocacy part. And that’s really powerful. Because when you have people who like your brand, they will be loyal. But when you have people who like your brand and are telling others, then those customers are creating even more customers for you. And as I say in the book, the more advocates you have, the less money you have to spend on advertising.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (11:48):

It’s interesting when I think about climbing this ladder that you describe, how do I implement something like this? So, if I’m thinking, okay, well, how do I even know or find out where are my customers?

Brittany Hodak, (12:01):

Well, in my book, Creating Superfans, I offer lots of tips that people can use. I also have an entire resource library online that’s totally free for anybody who buys the book. So, there’s URL that you can go to. There’s resources that we’re constantly adding to all the time. But one principle that I talk about in the book that is uniquely simple by design is this idea that there are really only three types of experiences that any customer ever has. And this is true of all of us, even in our personal lives. There are really only three types of experiences. At the end of whatever it is that you’re doing, whether that’s a conversation, an email, a movie, a podcast, you are going to feel one of three ways when it ends, better, worse, or exactly the same. It has either improved your life in some measurable way, it made your life a little bit worse, whether that was by wasting your time or your energy or changing your mood, or it was like a nothing burger, that you move on and forget about in two seconds and go about the rest of your life.

Brittany Hodak, (12:57):

Net negatives, net positives and net neutrals, to the extent that you can train everyone on your team to leave every customer a little bit better than you found them. You are at the most basic level making the world a better place. You’re changing their lives, you’re changing their experiences. So, a challenge that I often share with people to share with their teams is to say, how can you improve every interaction just a little bit? How can you exceed their expectations just a bit? Whether that’s with a kind word, whether that’s with a free cookie, whether that’s with a smile and a comment, there are things that you can do to take an otherwise ordinary forgettable interaction and elevate it just a bit to leave that person better than you found them.

Brittany Hodak, (13:42):

And the energetic payoff of that and the cumulative payoff of that is really, really profound, but it’s something that you’ve got to have everyone moving in the right direction. It’s like a herd of elephants. There can be seismic impact, but only if you’ve got everyone on the same page going in the same direction, embracing the same philosophy.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:04):

Before we move to the next questions here, you’ve got to share the URL. You said there’s URL to get the free stuff. Everybody loves free great resource, and I’ve checked the resource out, they are great. So, make sure you share that URL real quick for us.

Brittany Hodak, (14:15):

The resources are really only going to make sense if you have the book. So, if you want the book, you can get it everywhere where books are sold. It’s available on Amazon and everywhere else online. But you can also go to and download the first four chapters for free. And then at least some of the resources in the resource library will make more sense if you’ve got the first few chapters of the book.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:39):

Well, and we’ll make sure we get all those links in the show notes as well. For anyone listening in, wants a quick hyperlink back to it, you should be able to find that quickly here. Well, Brittany, this is a great time in the show for us to make a transition where we ask every guest the same four questions before they go. And the first question we ask is, have you had a miss or two in your journey and something you learned from it?

Brittany Hodak, (15:00):

Yeah, I’ve had a lot of misses. One of the misses that I actually write about in my book, so I went on Shark Tank about eight years ago for a business that I was running at the time, got offers from four of the five Sharks, continued to have success with that business until I exited it. But when I was on Shark Tank, I had an idea for another business, a nonprofit. And I launched it and I spent a lot of time and a lot of money trying to make it work, and I just ultimately didn’t work. So, the business or charity was called Per Diems Against Poverty. And the idea was that so many people who are paid contractual per diems, either because they’re professional athletes or they’re business executives or like me, they were filming a TV show and they were given this per diem because it was a union broadcast.

Brittany Hodak, (15:46):

So many people who are given these per diems for food don’t actually need that money to eat. So, I thought, how cool would it be if there were a charity that reallocated those per diems to people who actually were suffering from hunger or food insecurity in those same communities? So, I launched a 501(c)(3), I incorporated it. My cousin and I partnered with Feeding America. We partnered with several professional athletes and movie stars. And what we came to realize was that we didn’t understand the problem quite as well as we thought we did. And a lot of the professional athletes in particular who we thought like, oh, these are people making millions of dollars a year, of course, they’ll be thrilled to donate these per diems. Many of them had suffered from food insecurity as children. And they were like, I’m going to keep every single penny I make because at any point I could tear my ACL and this could be over.

Brittany Hodak, (16:36):

So, after a couple of years, we sort of had to say, maybe we’re not the right people to solve this problem and maybe our contribution to the world of food insecurity is not going to come through this 501(c)(3), that we bullishly thought we could run it on the side while we had other businesses going. So, I would say that was a big miss. My heart was in the right place. I was very well-intentioned, but because I didn’t understand the nuances around the problem quite as well as I should have before jumping in, it became painfully obvious that I was not the right person to solve that problem at that time.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:11):

Wow. Thank you for sharing that. That’s a great story. A hard lesson learned. Your heart’s in the right place, you think you’re doing the right thing, and it just didn’t work out. Well, let’s talk about a make, let’s look on the other side. You’ve had a lot of makes throughout your career. I’d love for you to talk about some of those.

Brittany Hodak, (17:29):

One of the biggest makes was this book. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be a big success. I got to the point where I had to make a decision of did I want to go with a traditional publisher and give away some of the freedoms that I would have on the creative side that I felt so strongly about, or did I want to continue to go down the route that I had initially wanted to go on, which was a hybrid publisher. Meaning I had more creative control, but then I would still have traditional bookstore distribution and people could get the book at airports and Barnes and Nobles, and things like that. And so, I came to this fork in the road.

Brittany Hodak, (18:02):

And it became obvious that if I was going to do it myself, I was going to have to invest six figures to make this hard cover book, print it in color, do all of the things that I wanted to do, versus if I went with a traditional publisher and made a few concessions of how that it would end up looking, I would be making a large sum of money on the front end. And it was one of those things where I was like, okay, am I ready to take out a second mortgage on my house to bet on myself? And ultimately, after talking to my husband and explaining to him why some of these creative decisions were so important that, yes, it does matter if the book is six by eight inches instead of six by nine inches, because then it feels different in your hand. It looks different. It’s like a different reading experience.

Brittany Hodak, (18:47):

I decided to gamble on myself, and it’s gone really well. The book has sold thousands and thousands of copies, and hard cover, plus a ton in the audible version that I narrate. I was able to pay back the second mortgage on the house. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to look back four months after the book came out and say, I did the right thing. I made the right decisions. I’m glad I didn’t compromise and do the thing that felt less scary in the moment.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:12):

To be in the position, one, with the opportunity to choose which direction to go, and secondly, the decision to basically do it on your own, that’s very commendable and it’s paid off and worked out for you. So, congratulations on that. Well, the name of the show is Multiply Your Success. And we always get such a wide range of answers to this question, but we always like to ask, have you used a multiplier to grow yourself or your business or businesses along the way?

Brittany Hodak, (19:39):

I have. And I love that you asked this question, and I love the variety of the responses that you get. And I was thinking about which one to share here. And I think when I was trying to go back and say, what is the one multiplier that led me down this path that I’m on right now and set the trajectory of where I’m at, both as a keynote speaker and as an author? I think, not I think, I know the one that’s been the most impactful for me over the past, let’s call it four years, four or five years, was when I chose to invest in myself by joining a group called Brand Builders Group, that is run by a couple who have now become very dear friends of mine. Their names are Rory and AJ Vaden. And they launched this company called Brand Builders Group.

Brittany Hodak, (20:24):

That’s all about helping people amplify their own message, lean into your uniqueness and build and monetize a personal brand. Because if you think about it, a personal brand is important for every single leader to have. And so, I invested in this program, they have called Brand Builders Group, and actually did the work. Spent months and months, and now I’ve been a part of the group for four years now, but spent the months to really do the hard work to say, what is my uniqueness? What is the contribution I want to make in the world? What are the problems that I care most about solving?

Brittany Hodak, (20:58):

And when I started looking at things through that lens, it really helped me think, okay, everything that I’m building, even though it’s about me, it’s not about me. It’s about the world. It’s about how can I be a vessel for this message to improve other people’s lives and other people’s journeys and not thinking like, oh, my gosh, it’s so self-serving to post a picture of myself on Instagram.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:20):

You’re always welcome to list more than one multiplier, by the way. So, if you had another one you felt sharing, welcome for you to add it in.

Brittany Hodak, (21:27):

The other one that I was going to talk about, I think there’s a way to have the benefit of this without doing the thing. But funny enough, I think it was having kids. And that’s something that I am so much more productive now in any given period of time, because I have to be. I know that the baby’s waking up from his nap or my older son’s getting home from school. And the stuff that I used to really think about and say like, well, I’m just going to take another day, or I’m going to just mold this over, or I would put off writing something or making a decision. Now it’s like, do it, move on. And I think that my husband would agree. It’s like once you have kids, you sort of become more productive because you have to.

Brittany Hodak, (22:11):

And I don’t know if there’s something in your brain that actually shifts or works in a different way, but I have found, for me, I feel like I was always very productive. But hour for hour, pound for pound, nothing can match the productivity of me now with a two-year-old and a five-year-old, because the stakes are that high. I know I have to get it done by whatever time or it’s just not going to get done. So, there’s probably a way to trick your brain into having that productivity without having to actually bring humans into the world. But for me, a real multiplier has been like it’s got to get done. Because when you have those little humans who are counting on you and they don’t care how many emails are in your inbox, they don’t care how much that proposal you’re trying to get out is worth, they’re like, it’s 6:30, somebody better give me dinner.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:00):

I totally agree. We’ve got three kids in our house and you have to be productive in the time that you have. And that’s a great, great multiplier. Well, Brittany, the final question we ask every guest before they go is, what does success mean to you?

Brittany Hodak, (23:14):

Well, I love this question. And I think my answer is probably along the same vein of what I’ve heard others say on the show. And success to me really means the freedom to choose how you spend your time. And as much as those kids can be multipliers, man, they are sometimes sucks too. And sometimes that is great, and sometimes it’s not so great. But to me, success is being able to have enough control over your time and your finances to be able to say no to an opportunity in order to say yes to something with your family.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (23:49):

Brittany, before we go, is there anything you were maybe hoping to share or get across that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

Brittany Hodak, (23:55):

One thing that I think I mentioned in passing, but that has also been a multiplier for me, as part of the Brand Builders Group program that I was talking about, is to really be able to clearly articulate the problem that you solve. Not when somebody says like, oh, what’s your business? And you say like, oh, I own five dry cleaners, or I have six sandwich restaurants. What is the problem that you solve? Because when you can tell people clearly the problem that you solve, it changes the paradigm, it changes the conversation, it makes them curious, it leads to them asking questions.

Brittany Hodak, (24:27):

And once you define that, you’re going to do a better job of hiring people to work in your business, you’re going to do a better job of making decisions based on that North Star of that problem solving ability or the clarity that comes with that. So, I just want to encourage everybody to ask yourself, what problem do I solve? And if you don’t know the answer, reflect on it, because it really is a game changer or more multiplier once you figure it out and lean into communicating that to everyone around you.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:55):

Well, Brittany, what is the best way for someone to get in touch with you or learn more if they’re wanting to get some more information?

Brittany Hodak, (25:02):

You can find me at

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:06):

Brittany, thank you so much for being a guest and for giving us such a great interview. And let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. So, take away number one is when Brittany mentioned that the biggest threat to your business is apathy, or essentially people who don’t care about your business. And to me, that was a wake-up call, cold water getting dumped on your head, that it’s just folks who don’t care. They have no preference one way or another. Takeaway number two is when she shared her acronym, super, and how implementing the superfans program helps futureproof your business. And that super acronym was S, means start with your story, your uniqueness and superpower. U is to understand your customers’ story. P is to personalize. E is to exceed expectations. And R is to repeat and create repetition.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:00):

Takeaway number three is when she said at the very tail end of the interview, she said, you need to be able to clearly articulate problem that you solve. And if you’re not clear on it, or even if you think you’re clear on it, I think it’d be a worthwhile exercise just to ask yourself, what problem do I solve in my business? And see what comes out of that conversation with yourself or maybe with your leadership team. And now it’s time for today’s win-win. So. Today’s win-win is when Brittany talked about every single customer and every single employee is an influencer, every single one of them. And she described that each customer, each employee is going to have one of three experience outcomes when they interact and engage with your company and your brand.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:55):

Those are pretty straightforward. The customer or employee’s either going to feel better, feel worse, or about the same about your company whenever they interact with you. I just thought that’s a great takeaway. So, as you are thinking about creating those experiences for your customers, for your employees, how are you helping create positive, better, great experience for them? Certainly implementing Brittany’s Superfans program makes a lot of sense to help ensure that. So, I just thought that was a great takeaway and it’s going to be a win for you. It’s going to be a win for your customer, a win for your employees. It’s going to be a win all the way around.

Dr. Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:35):

And so, that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone might be ready to franchise our business, take their franchise company to the next level. Please connect with us at Thanks for tuning in, and we look forward to having you back next week.

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