Real quick post here before I head off.
No matters what business you’re in, no matter who your fans are, it is always important to listen to them. Take their opinions, mix them up, and improve your product or add funny little easter eggs that stem from community suggestions. Why? This gives much more meaning to the input people have. This is the reason I usually prefer indie developers and artists over the larger companies and franchises. They stand a lot closer to their fanbase (probably also because it’s smaller).
A good example here is game development. There’s quite a few indie games out there that are still in development, but can be beta or even alpha tested by users, so they can provide suggestions, ideas, opinions and bug reports. The developers can then use that input to improve their product. Overgrowth is a great example, but there’s tons of other stuff out there that does this.
Remember earlier this post where I said larger companies do it less often? Luckily, that means it still happens. Fun examples are Adventure Time, where they did an entire episode which was set in an alternate universe (spoiler alert: Ice King’s story), where literally all characters were of the opposite gender. This was in response to the gender-swap fanart lots of people made around that time.
And then there’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. A pony of the mail-delivery team made a really short cameo in one episode, didn’t have a single line of text, and was only sporadically shown as a background-character since. Her rather derpy demeanor made some fans go crazy. The producers heard these cries, and gave her a slightly more significant role.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to handle your fanbase. (Unless it’s a bunch of rabid teenage girl. You’d better run.)