Research: Fandom is dead. Welcome to Fancom
January 17, 2024
Recently-commissioned research by M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment reveals that 63 per cent of people use their passions as a way to engage with others in real life, showing that the real value for marketers isn’t just in connecting brands to consumers through passions, but in helping brands connect consumers to each-other through the things they love.
“This demands a shift in how we look at audience needs and we believe there has been a demonstrable move away from the tropes of traditional fandom, towards what we call Fancom,” suggests Laura Coller, Managing Director. “Away from mass homogenised groups following a single attitude and towards communities coalescing around intersectional interests and behaviours.”
“Twenty years ago we were the first agency to fuse the worlds of sport and entertainment. Then we were the first to adopt a positioning around passions. As we move into the next twenty years, we’ll continue pioneering approaches that enable brands to better connect with consumers whose behaviour towards their passions is constantly and rapidly evolving,” she adds.
From the 2,016 people who responded to the study, 8,276 passions were noted, meaning that the average person has at least 4.1 passions. Looking deeper into the data, 25 per cent have at least 7.
“For brands, that’s a minimum of between four and seven different opportunities to connect, and with the study highlighting that fans have an overall commitment score of 8.4 out of 10 to their passions these opportunities are too good to miss, which is why I’m proud to launch Passion Pulse, an expanded strategic offer comprising the brightest thinkers at the heart of sport and entertainment culture,” she declares.
“Passion Pulse is our future-thinking strategic arm that will empower clients to rule with both their heads and their hearts,” comments Neil Hopkins, Strategy Partner. “Looking at passions today and the emergence of atomised subcultures around them, it’s clear that a shift in how agencies and brands view fans and their behaviour is needed. As such, we’re no longer using the term ‘fandom’ which implies mass homogenous groups following one attitude. We believe that the future of passion marketing is in ‘Fancom’ which is a proprietary term we’re adopting to represent coalescing fan communities and the opportunity for brands to be at the centre of them.”
“Fancom is an audience behaviour but also something we can incite and build around brands to both grow their audiences concentrically as well as to deepen their connections emotionally,” advises Coller. “We’re excited to introduce the process to existing and future clients as our Passion Pulse team takes them beyond expected approaches towards fan culture and into a better understanding of the contemporary fan who is discerning, borderless and a co-author of the space they occupy.”
The agency’s approach to building Fancom is a fusion tool comprising research, data and strategy processes, AI technology and human expertise. “We’ll enable clients to go beyond what fans say they do, mined through surface level data, and deep into how they actually behave through a system that interrogates what they say they do, what they actually do and how they organise and collaborate around, and across, their passions,” says Ant Firth-Clark, Senior Strategist.