Oct 29, 2020
17: Systems In Flux: Class, Taste and the Modern Aspiration Economy
For the second episode in our series on Systems In Flux, we’re talking about systems of class and taste. In the past 10 years, new brands have emerged, specifically in luxury and premium categories, that point to a divergence in our social systems around what class and taste are, and how they are achieved.
Brand strategist and sociologist Ana Andjelic places brands like Telfar, Blenheim Forge, Fly By Jing and Brightland in the Modern Aspiration Economy. This emerging economy trades in taste, aesthetic innovation, curation and environmentalism. And what’s remarkable about these brands is that they have all successfully decoupled class from money, and taste from wealth.
In her new book, The Business of Aspiration, Ana explores this decoupling and contrasts the Modern Aspiration Economy to the traditional economy where consumers once signaled their status through collecting commodities, Instagram followers, airline miles, and busy back-to-back schedules. Now, it’s about collecting knowledge, belonging to micro-communities, and leveraging influence.
As Ana points out, this new cultural and environmental capital changes the way businesses and entire markets operate. We talked about where and when this decoupling started, the ways in which it has changed global markets permanently, and how brands can trade in this new capital.
Links to interesting things mentioned in this episode and further reading:
* The Business of Aspiration (Ana Andjelic):
* Big Fashion’s Niche Future (The Sociology of Business):
* How Micro-Communities Transform Aspiration (The Sociology of Business):
For more brand strategy thinking: https://www.theconceptbureau.com/