Future Fan

Award winning study of what it means to be a fan and how social media is reshaping the experience...

Connecting Brands & Fans

Fandom is a fascinating subject and one with the utmost relevance to brands, as they aim to connect with passionate audiences who exhibit shared values.

This major project for Twitter focused on music fans, exploring how fan communities are changing and what the future fan may look like.

Method Design

+ Interviews with academics and industry experts

+ Social media analysis to identify fan dynamics,

+ Up-close ethnographic and interview work around different music case studies from both the fan and industry perspectives (festivals, nostalgia bands, brand-led initiatives, new talent etc)

+ Roundtable session with strategists and creatives

+ Online survey to size and segment fan behaviours

New Principles

The work provided a powerful narrative, exploring three historical phases of fandom, shifts in the relationship between fan and ‘fan object’ and the increasing sophistication of fan eco-systems.

Additionally, we identified measurable pillars of fandom and new principles, driven via social media like Twitter, such as ‘amplified experiences’ and ‘digital intimacy’. Punchy ideas to drive traction included drawing parallels between the retweet and the time-honoured ritual of getting an artist’s autograph.

ESOMAR Award-Winning

Outputs from the work included a broadcast quality 12 minute documentary (two minute edit below), celebrating the energy of fandom and revealing exactly what makes fan communities tick.

In Paris in November 2015, Future Fan won the prestigious Peter Cooper best paper award at ESOMAR’s global conference.

There Was More…

The success of the initial fandom piece led to a project extension to capture fan stories in Brazil, Japan, the UK, China and US; and across the thematic areas of film, news, sport, fitness, food, fashion and tech.


From street fashion to baseball to music sub-cultures - seeking fan stories around the world
From street fashion to baseball to music sub-cultures - seeking fan stories around the world

"We love working with Crowd DNA. They deliver high quality, strategic insight that has helped us grow our business. They have a unique ability to tell research stories creatively which means that their outputs are different, attention-grabbing and memorable. It is for these reasons that we have trusted them with some of our most important projects of recent years."
Jake Steadman, international research director, Twitter