I recently bought a sweet pair of navy blue Chucks the other day. First pair of Chucks I had bought in a long time and first navy pair I had since I was a kid. I was a bit excited and nostalgic over my new kicks but was interested in that my wife did not share my enthusiasm. She pointed out how she was tired of seeing hipsters wear them and felt that the brand was less endearing to her now.
This really caught my attention. Can overexposure by hipsters turn you away from a brand? And if so, would you ever come back?
When I was a kid nobody really used the word hipster. My image of a hipster was similar to my image of a beatnik: guy or gal dressed in black, wearing glasses, man has a goatee and woman or man is sporting a beret. Of course this stereotype was reinforced by many a movie, television show and MAD magazine during the 60s and 70s. I don’t remember seeing anyone dressed like this in real life so it was a carictature.
Today hipsters are everywhere. It’s cool to be a hipster and it seems to be the subculture of choice among today’s 20 somethings. Some of the fashions they embrace are not my taste but I know the same was thought about me when I was their age by some middle aged jerk like me!
Current hipsters have embraced certains brands like Pabst Blue Ribbon which has enjoyed a resurrgance of sales the past several years. I’ve always loved PBR but I also remember when they were still a big advertiser when I was a kid. PBR was once the top beer in the US, advertised heavily and then stopped in the late 70s. It hung around and now it’s cool-retro. Watch out Schlitz’s, you’re next!
But that’s what hipsters do. Embrace brands that people have written off. At first it’s the fact that nobody loves that brand so you look cool ordering it. Then everyone follows suit and the brand becomes the cool hipster choice. Others watch in wonder and shake their heads. As the hipsters age some abandon the brand while others continue.
So in a way the hipsters keep our cool, forgotten brands around. We all know that diminishing sales will eventually lead to the end of a brand unless there is something to keep it commercially viable.
What do you think? Have hipsters or others change your perception and buying behavior towards a brand?