Originally Released On

PR Newswire


Sarah Arvizo

NRG Releases Whitepaper, “The Power of Brand Fandom: 5 Things to Know Right Now”

NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Research from Stagwell‘s (NASDAQ: STGW) National Research Group (NRG), a global insights leader at the intersection of technology, content, and culture, shows more people are fans of brands, products, and services in the same way they love sports and celebrities. NRG introduced its “Brand Fandom” research focus at Advertising Week, beginning a series that will unpack the journey to fandom across key categories and audiences. The research will explore the pathways for brands to successfully build and activate a fan community and understand the modern-day fan ecosystem. 

NRG’s Brand Fandom showed up in a myriad of ways this month: 

  • Brand Fandom Whitepaper: In a new report, “The Power of Brand Fandom: 5 Things to Know Right Now,” research points to brand influence as being more significant than other commonly associated areas of interest: consumers are bigger fans of brands or products (57%) than of celebrities (54%), movies (52%), sports (48%) or online influencers/personalities (37%). Some other key themes from the paper include:
    • Age is just a number: Brand fandom is strong across all ages, dispelling conventional assumptions that Gen Z and millennials have a fleeting sense of brand loyalty.
    • Fans don’t exist in a vacuum: 54% “want everyone to know” they are a fan of a given brand or product.
    • Brand fans are sold on potential, too. Over three-quarters (77%) say they will at least try different products the brand comes out with.
  • MediaPost Op-Ed: In a contributed piece, Stagwell Global Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Linder and NRG EVP, Brand Strategy and Innovation Fotoulla Damaskos co-bylined an article, “Bigger Than Sports and Celebrity: The Power of Brand Fandom,” which explores what brands can expect of the consumers who they turn into fans: not just deep loyalty, but advocacy.
  • Advertising Week New York: A panel at AWNY, which included NRG’s Damaskos and EVP, Head of Sports Marketing Jay Kaufman; Stagwell’s Linder; Christie’s SVP, Head of Marketing Neda Whitney; and McDonald’s Director, Communications Measurement & Insights Sarah Myles, introduced brand fandom on “Buzz and Devotion: The Fan Economy That Makes Niche Mainstream in Today’s Culture.”

“This first piece of research shows how brand fandom serves as a tool of self-expression, intricately linking brands to consumer identities. It should signal to brands that interactions with customers have to be dialogues, nurturing people’s experiences and engendering a sense of shared belonging,” said NRG EVP, Brand Strategy & Innovation Fotoulla Damaskos. “Our choices as consumers are on full display right now – we can wield power against the brands that fail us, or passionately champion those we believe in. Where these choices fall can mean the difference between having customers or having fans who bring commitment, advocacy and long-term brand growth.”

“The way I move about the world – how I approach the fast-paced work of brand marketing, to the even faster-paced world of fatherhood – I’ve done through the lens of authenticity and grit, qualities I adopted from my fandom for Harley-Davidson motorcycle culture,” said Stagwell EVP, CMO Ryan Linder. “My identity continues to be reinforced by a kaleidoscope of brands I’m personally invested in, proof that the influence of brands can manifest across so many aspects of our lives.”


Data used in this report comes from a study of 1,018 US consumers, ages 18 to 65, conducted in October 2022–representative of the national population in terms of age, gender and ethnicity.

About National Research Group

National Research Group is a leading global insights and strategy firm at the intersection of entertainment and technology. Rooted in four decades of industry expertise, the world’s leading marketers turn to us for insights into growth and strategy for any content, anywhere, on any device. Working at the confluence of content, culture and technology, NRG offers insights for bold storytellers everywhere. To learn more, please visit www.nationalresearchgroup.com, and follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Stagwell

Stagwell is the challenger network built to transform marketing. We deliver scaled creative performance for the world’s most ambitious brands, connecting culture-moving creativity with leading-edge technology to harmonize the art and science of marketing. Led by entrepreneurs, our 13,000+ specialists in 34+ countries are unified under a single purpose: to drive effectiveness and improve business results for their clients. Join us at www.stagwellglobal.com.

Stagwell’s fastest-growing network transforms for the convergence of creative, media, and commerce.



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