Why didn’t all brands see it coming?
Each generation is different. Over a decade ago, we saw the Millennials begin to rise. The one thing that came across quite clear is that with the rise of social media, everyone wants to be their own brand. Nobody wants to wear the same thing as everyone else, everyone wants to be an individual. We can amplify our individuality on Instagram and Snapchat.
Supreme figured it out. They understood that constantly turning their inventory was the way to build a business around individuals. Editions work particularly well when you can manufacture clothing closer to the season and in small batches.
Most older brands stuck with what has worked in the past but the thing is that golden handcuffs of the past never last forever. Things tend to continue along until one day they don’t and when they don’t, you are fucked because shifting into a new business model doesn’t happen overnight.
Many of the young brands starting with Warby Parker to Parachute to Away to All Birds have all been built with new models in mind using technology to acquire loyal customers. Some have spent absurd amounts of cash and we will see how that pans out while others have been scrappy with cash and have built solid businesses. Their product works and resonates. Spending lots of cash doesn’t always work even though the formula might have worked for others. Building brands are like building buildings. Even if you have built 100 buildings, the 101st takes on a life of its own. There are always countless components involved.
I read this week that Wedgewood, that was founded in 1759, is shifting to appeal to the next generation. Brilliant move if they want to be around in 2079. Not sure why it has taken some brands this long to get on the bandwagon for the next generation but if they have learned anything, I would hope that they would be trying to understand Generation Z now instead of taking ten years to understand Millennials or they won’t be around to sell to Generation Z.