Introducing the Influential Catalyst

Fandom has become a powerful force in recent years—especially when it comes to “fandorsement,” the confluence of influence, word-of-mouth, and fans’ own follower bases.

Comedy Central’s latest international study, “Fandom,” unveils a whole new world of passionate young people. This project identifies a segment of fans who are most able to harness the “fandorsement” for brands: the Influential Catalyst.

So, who is the Influential Catalyst? They’re a little more likely to be male (55%) and lean slightly toward the older part of the 18-34 demographic—55% are ages 26-34 and 45% are 18-24. Virtually all use Facebook (94%). And they’re engaged with television, averaging 10 hours of viewing time per week.

What makes Influential Catalysts so valuable to advertisers?

More brand loyalty and commitment makes them stronger advocates. They are 31% more likely to try to work for their favorite brand. More extreme measures are also within the realm of possibility—Influential Catalysts are 82% more likely to get a tattoo of their favorite brand!

Expertise across many categories. On average, young people report having expertise in 5 categories. This rises to 7 categories for Influential Catalysts. They also proclaim higher levels of expertise than other young people who consider themselves experts in all key areas.

Powerful voices. Influential Catalysts are more likely to be early adopters, with 83% agreeing that they are often the first to try new products—36% higher than others. Their seal of approval carries weight, with over 90% reporting that people come to them seeking recommendations (18% higher than others). Additionally, 8 in 10 say that if they love a brand, they’ll tell people about it.

Strong sharing potential and extensive reach. Influential Catalysts report being approached for advice twice as often as others. As well, 8 in 10 agree that their online posts are often shared or re-tweeted. Their networks are large, too. On average, they have 494 friends on Facebook (103% above average) and 306 Twitter followers (75% above average).

Comedy Central is an ideal place to reach fans who will advocate for your brand.

Influential Catalysts are more likely to watch Comedy Central. Over 80% of Influential Catalysts say they watch Comedy Central—compared with 61% of others. Overall, Influential Catalysts are 63% more likely to say that Comedy Central is their favorite channel, which means a great opportunity exists for brands to increase their word of mouth.

Comedy Central viewers are stronger brand fans. Compared with non-viewers, Comedy Central’s audience is 27% more likely to try new products, 55% more likely to consider themselves experts in more categories, and 42% more likely to share their experiences with brands.

Understanding this new era of fandom is the key to connecting with the most influential, passionate and vocal young people out there. Most recently, we delved into how the meaning of “fandom” has changed and the power of fans.

The next post in this series will illustrate how brands can harness the power of fans.