Yahoo Finance recently released an article about the things hipsters can teach us about investing. The article outlines the importance of spotting trends and taking advantage of opportunities before they hit the “mainstream”. As hipsters are quickly becoming a large psychographic segment and masstige consumerism continues to build, I can’t help but think that applying hipster theory can lead to successful marketing as well. Here are a couple examples to illustrate my point:
- Don’t do what everyone else is doing. People don’t interact with traditional media the way they used to. Young people especially wake up to a music player instead of the radio, check news apps instead of reading the paper, and are so accustomed to media clutter, they barely glance at outdoor signage, let alone notice the messaging. All this means that marketers need to find unconventional ways to reach audiences without relying on mainstream channels, and hipsters can teach us all about the best ways to avoid mainstream, well anything.
- Start trends. Yes hipsters teach us to spot trends before they catch on, but deeper than that they start trends. This is a trait of a savvy investor, yes, but trend starting is especially relevant to marketing as well. Whatever is different, unique, and never been heard of is not only the epitome of the hipster dream, it is also a description of some of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time.
- Focus on cultural integration. Now this doesn’t mean we all need to buy a sustainably sourced bamboo t-shirt, but hipsters align all elements of their lives into one cohesive image and maybe there’s something to be said for that. Normcore is one of the latest hipster trends whereby clothing and accessories are purposefully un-stylized and simplified. Solid matte tones often with one distinguishing logo and a classic shape are taking hipster style by storm, and it is hard not to notice the parallel between normcore style and Apple products. If we can more closely observe the ways that style and brands evolve together, we can predict where trends are going to go and ultimately what is going to sell.
So, integration, trend starting, and untraditional messaging are not only all basic components of the hipster lifestyle, they can be key building blocks to innovative and successful marketing campaigns as well.