An exploration into the qualities of lasting consumer brands — and how an accelerating trend cycle is changing the playbook for success
The year was 2007 and Crocs, the hole-filled, orthotic foam shoes, were everywhere. In addition to becoming the it-item for suburban teens (and tweens) across America, they burst the celebrity bubble, gracing the feet of future Duchess Kate Middleton and then President George W. Bush. Indeed, the brand had transformed over a six-year period from a humble, sustainable shoe to a bona-fide member of the cultural zeitgeist raking in over $800M in annual sales.
In recent years, the whispers had grown louder, and the tweets came more frequently. “Consumer tech is dead.” “There’s no innovation in consumer.” 2020 has sent an emphatic response to all of the doubts and gripes: Consumer is back.
COVID-19 has flipped our world upside down, drastically and fundamentally changing consumer behavior. While many of us were online before, now the internet is a lifeline. Almost every element of our lives, from education, to work, to socializing, has migrated into the virtual arena.
How one social platform has fundamentally changed brand building & consumer behavior as we know it.
2020 has been quite the year. We’ve been through an unprecedented U.S. election cycle, weathered climate change-induced firestorms, not to mention our ongoing battle against the Covid-19 global pandemic. One result of these events has been that many individuals are Extremely Online, now more than ever. And quietly, a fundamental shift on the internet has taken place. We’ve entered Social Media 3.0.
What is Social Media 3.0? Good question. To understand where we are, it’s helpful to take a step back into the history…
We are entering a new paradigm of celebrity. Social media stars today have an unprecedented level of autonomy over their brand and image, resulting in significantly greater monetization potential. This evolution of social-media fame is creating a platform shift and laying the groundwork for a new generation of companies to succeed.
What is happening?
Whereas individuals previously may have slowly grown their fame over a number of years, social media stars can now build recognition in a matter of months. For example, while Kim Kardashian spent over a decade building her following, teenage TikTok superstar Charli D’Amelio rocketed to recognition…