The always remarkable Seth Godin just posted about the benefits when you Delight the Weird, which spins into my own interest in finding Citizen Intelligence otaku (otherwise known as fanboys). Catering to the outliers who are usually ignored pays off in creating fanboys at unusually higher rates. Apple’s Macintosh line has used this product positioning for decades from the computer “for the rest of us” to “here’s to the crazy ones” this non-mainstream positioning is a recurring theme that has let them survive huge stumbles that would have killed most companies.
Otaku are created out of the pool of delighted users when they become your biggest fans, your unpaid advertisers, and your brand ambassadors (whether you want them or not). Delighted users are those whose expectations are exceeded. That’s easier to do from a lower base level of expectation but only until others start to address the same market. It’s a game where first mover advantage looms large but has to be married to impeccable execution and high levels of service in order to not have your position leached away by others who simply execute better. Ultimately otaku can only buy you time. Eventually being remarkable and delighting customers is the only thing that will build a business that lasts.