Social media has brought upon a new era of consumerism, one where we’re knee deep in selfies and instant gratification. The consumer market, especially among younger generations are foregoing heritage brands for up-and-coming ones that can change their product offerings as fast as they change their minds.
Brands who have spent five, ten, even 50 years in business are trying to find their place. Their traditional approach to marketing and distribution has left them falling behind these relative newcomers who are providing a novel experience.
Micro Brands Causing Macro Disruption
These brands, often helmed by tech-savvy millennials, have broken into the industry on social media. They already knew how to reach their customer, because they are the customer. Through the digital sphere these “challenger brands” are forming a relationship with those who interact with their brand.
This unique approach was never possible before the advent of social media. Through their storytelling and relationship, people feel that they are a part of the brand. This personalization has begun to take market share away from established brands.
Most of these micro brands are digital companies not weighed down by lagging supply chains and substantial investment in infrastructure or retail space. This freedom leaves them agile and flexible to capitalize on trends and demand. Due to their small size, micro brands businesses are better equipped to deliver customer-focused products and services than the big players.
Now, heritage brands are choosing to “self-disrupt.” The McKinsey Report on Fashion detailed how they realized they must essentially innovate or die. They stated that 79 percent of executives are placing self-disruption in the “top five trends impacting the industry.”
Many are throwing out the traditional production calendar and are releasing smaller collections more often. Collaborations or capsule collections with social media influencers and other artists have created buzz as well. This method gives the consumer continued novelty while buying time to streamline their supply chains to create more speed-to-market. Whether it’s a micro brand or an established brand, everyone wants to remain in the game. But, the way to do that lies in the ability to adopt fresh ideas to keep consumers interested continually. History and heritage are no longer enough.