Brands have a lengthy history of signaling social status, but it’s the modern-day tactics that are worthy of admiration. More than just a logo on your favorite t-shirt, today’s successful brands are exploring ways to become pop-culture status symbols. Cross industry collaborations, unlikely partnerships, and organic experiences are pushing consumers on a journey that is inspiring them to get in on the fun. Here’s a look at a few brands that have taken note.
Making a Fashion Statement
Peloton paved the way for the immersive at-home fitness experience and quickly emerged as a status symbol for a healthy lifestyle. The company has since found its niche in fashion, with new collections launching every season. Community members worldwide now proudly tout their riding spirit on and off the bike. Honoring Black History Month, the brand recently collaborated with four Black artists to create a unique culturally inspired collection. Committed to making a social impact they also donated $100,000 to The Steve Fund; an organization focused on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people of color.
The Social Feed
An unexpected, yet brilliant, partnership between fast food chain McDonald’s and Travis Scott led to one of 2020’s biggest brand collaborations. The limited-time “Travis Scott meal” was created by the artist himself and promoted alongside a list of exclusive McDonald’s x Travis Scott merchandise. With apparel selling out instantly and mashup becoming a social media sharing phenomenon, McDonald’s yet again showed their ability to think ahead of the curve. Travis also joined exclusive company as the first celebrity to get his own meal with McDonalds since Michael Jordan in 1992.
Creators Creating Status
Brands are seeing overnight success from organic, consumer-generated content across social platforms like TikTok. With Nathan Apodaca’s skateboard vibes, Ocean Spray instantly went from something your grandparents drank to reaching an entirely new generation, complete with the perfect soundtrack. The simple TikTok video struck a chord with millions of people, creating over 15 billion media impressions. Celebrities even joined the fun with band members from Fleetwood Mac recreating the scene. This viral moment ignited the brand, inspired them to capitalize on the excitement, and further activate their social presence.
What used to be just an elitist perception of brand is now becoming an ownable and attainable status for many. Whether embracing social signals or tapping into pop culture moments, brands are finding ways to instill beliefs, create excitement, and influence behavior.
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