Almost half of Millennials say they are in a fandom, but brands might be missing the opportunity to appeal to them, and create the products that celebrate their passions.
Highly connected and organized Millennial fan groups have taken fandom to a new level. In 2013, Ypulse found that Next Level Fandoms were using their numbers, passion, and organization to change the meaning of being a fan, and we recently revisited the trend to take a deeper look into this increasingly relevant space. Almost half of 13-33-year-olds now say they are in a fandom, and these connected groups are influencing brands and entertainment more than ever before. But while a huge number of Millennials and teens count themselves as members of a fandom, products celebrating those fandoms are still considered niche—and brands might be missing a big opportunity.
Our fandom research found that 58% of 13-33-year-olds in a fandom have purchased something only because it was related to their fandom, and 58% say they have worn clothing that features their fandom. Those fandom members who have purchased products related to their fandoms have spent an average of $400 on those products in the last year. When looking at fangirls specifically, 64% say they have purchased something because it was related to their fandom, and 63% have worn clothing related to their fandom. But few brands are capitalizing on the desire for fandom fashion.
Hot Topic is the clear leader in fandom retail, with a “Pop Culture” section that allows shoppers to browse clothing created major fandoms like Harry Potter, Supernatural, Dr. Who, and Adventure Time. Their products reflect the rise of fandom’s importance in youth culture. Marketplace reports: “Hot Topic was once the home base for all things emo and goth. Chokers, black rubber bracelets,…