A recent article I read in Business of Fashion about the rise of “geek brands” in Japan shed an interesting light about the shift in consumer patterns and how some brands are responding to these so called “esoteric whims”, be it hobbies or consumer goods. Although the report was talking about men and in particular 30-40 plus Japanese men, I thought the following observation was pretty insightful and applicable to all, or most of us, in general.
“.. peer pressure — in the biggest cities at least — is today increasingly shifting from fitting in by dressing down to fitting in by standing out, with this generation outdoing each other to find the latest and greatest — and the more exacting, custom made and obsessive the better.”
It resonated with me mostly because, living in New York City, there is a constant pressure to stand out and make an impact, from what you wear, what you say, do and how. Everything needs to make a statement, everything should make a statement. No longer is mass production condoned. It is all about personalisation and making it “me”. No longer are consumers homongenous and uniform. Brands need to rise up and recognise the difference, or be forgotten.
It’s stiff competition out there.