10 Companies Beloved Enough for a Fansite

I like to shop at IKEA. When I found out that they’re finally building a location in Colorado, where I live, I immediately consulted Google for more details. One of the first results was a website called Colorado IKEA Fans. Somebody was so devoted to the store’s new Colorado location that he took the time and energy to construct a website shrine.

IKEA is lucky to have that kind of fan base. Besides selling furniture, it inspires people enough to make them work (build fansites) for free. Talk about an ironclad brand.

I grew curious. What other companies provoke this kind of reverence? I put together a list of ten major ones.

Coming up tomorrow: 10 companies that inspired hate websites.

IKEA

zzzzikeafans

IKEA may be the world’s biggest furniture retailer, but few call it evil. Instead, customers spend hours there, browsing foldable furniture, eating $2 meatball meals, and exploring endless halls of home accouterments. No wonder the company has serious fans. Not bad for an organization called Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.

Apple

Master Jobs’ organization more closely resembles a cathedral than a company. It has dozens of fan sites, the most prominent of which include the Apple Blog and Macrumors. If aliens landed in Cupertino and gauged what was going on with Apple and its fans, they may well call it religion.

Nintendo

Back in the 1980s, Nintendo enjoyed something like cult status. If you grew up playing Super Mario Bros., you know what I mean. Two decades later, Nintendo is back in the mainstream spotlight, thanks mostly to the Wii. If you adore Nintendo as much as the people in the forum above, you’re in good company.

Google

Love it or hate it, Google is an Internet mainstay. Some people love it enough to build a fansite. Others hate it enough to build a different kind of shrine. I put it on our love list (there’s a hate list coming soon) for a naughtily subjective reason: I like Google.

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Berkshire Hathaway/Warren Buffett


Image: Warrenbuffet.co.za

People around the world revere the Oracle of Omaha. After all, not every stone-cold businessman is also a folksy preacher. He’s so popular that fansites as far away as South Africa follow him closely.

Costco

Ah, Costco. Where the modern-day suburbanite can hunt and gather product like a primitive. Combine that with friendly employees, bulk Mountain Dew, and free samples, and you have a fundamentally satisfying experience. Just ask the folks at I Love Costco and other fansites.

Disney

If you’ve lost your childhood to things like work and mortgages, don’t fret. Disney, which you probably grew up with, can take you right back to five-year-old heaven. If you have five-year-olds of your own, all the better. It’s no wonder this big company has more than one fansite.

Target


Image: Herald Sun

Back in the 1980s, Target was a lowly K-Mart competitor. Then, somebody at corporate got smart. The retailer added designer fashion, groceries, and an excellent selection of home furnishings–for prices a college student can afford. The result? A loyal fan base and steady customers. They’ve even cultivated an online colony of slaves.

Trader Joe’s


Image: Evalu8.org

I never knew how much I liked TJ’s until I moved to Colorado. Sadly, Trader Joe’s doesn’t exist here. That means I can’t get fresh, reasonably-priced produce, a wild selection of coffee and tea, tubs of gourmet snacks, and wine in the same place–for a decent price (sorry, Whole Foods). I miss Trader Joe’s. I bet fans like this one would, too.

Canon

As a Nikon shooter, I kind of don’t get why only Canon has a love page, but hey…there are good reasons to use Canon products. If you must.

  • Interesting, I’d be curious about their business models too that got them this way.

  • Quite aptly noted. These companies are not just interested in selling products and making profits thats the end and not means to the end. They are interested in creating raving fans (apple) who will fight for them and others are the sellers of dreams (Disney). What ever your age be they have always made a mark on our minds…

  • the funny thing about google fan site is that it doesn’t looks like google. i mean as a fan, the designer should follow the concept of the google such as user friendly, white and simple.

  • Thanks for the mention. The Trader Joe’s fan community is quite an enthusiatic, loyal and vocal one. We have also surpassed 150,000 fans on Facebook and almost all of over 1500+ recipes and reviews are user generated. Thank you, fans!