At our Rise breakfast event today, Anna Chapman, director of Crowd DNA's Socialise division, talked about superfans - mapping their journey from hysterical outsiders to a brand’s best friend. Below are some key takeouts...
Fandom has existed in some form or other for centuries. The composer Liszt drove crowds wild with his brooding artist’s good looks and sweeping hair. So wild, in fact, that at the time the collective excitement around the famous composer was described as ‘Lisztmania’.
The very thought of fans prompts visions of screaming, hysteric devotees — teenyboppers reaching near dog whistle frequency on airport landing strips as John, Paul, George and Ringo step off their plane; or Elvis sending waves of swooning through his audience of adoring fans with every sway of his glittering hips.
Before the internet, the relationship between a fan and an idol was entirely one way. But that’s changed now that fans can interact directly with stars on social media.
In the age of the superfan, brands can directly engage with fan communities on social media, disrupting the traditional route. And in this ecosystem, superfans can join the likes of vloggers and even celebrities in becoming influential brand ambassadors themselves.
The ‘mania’ of fans of old has been channelled. Now, the superfan has agency, the power to share their passion amid their networks. And as more and more stars appear in celebrity-land’s night sky, the superfan’s power continues to reach new celestial heights.
We love talking about superfans, influencers, their passions and how these relate to brands. Please get in touch if you want to find out more.