Decrypting the contours of a hyperactive consumption, embodied in a promise of escape and shaped by new brand values.
In 2022, bid farewell to panic as a new wave of euphoric consumer behavior takes center stage: the era of ‘revenge buying.’ This trend beckons individuals to fervently acquire high-end products as a retaliation for the shopping hiatus imposed by lockdowns. It underscores the enduring connection between emotions and purchases while highlighting the increasing demand for brands to fulfill the emotional cravings expressed by consumers. Dive into the dynamic landscape of brand universes, where emotional resonance shapes the evolving narrative of consumer engagement.
A brand is a sentimental construction and its very existence generates strong emotional connections that operate at several levels: logo, name, advertising campaigns, digital activations, and brand universes. Extending its existence, the universe is defined as the imaginary world constituting the backdrop to a brand. It is an important part of the story and a powerful tool for developing a strong connection with the consumer through the projection of sensory elements such as vivid images, sound, smell, taste and even familiar touches attached to a field of common or intimate perception. For example, a brand universe could be Spotify’s giant jukebox, the summit of a snowy mountain as told by Canada Goose, the engineer’s laboratory where Airbus innovations are modelled, or the minimalist and tidy MUJI home.
All in all, this tool is more relevant than ever to create inspiring sensory storytelling and to seize the opportunity of revenge buying.
In recent months, many players have refocused their story and invested this notion of brand universe. But which universe is a brand to choose? How should it be deployed and embodied ? Unsurprisingly, the cure for the pandemic seems to call on a desire for escapism and dreams of the future. Here are 3 structuring trends that are shaping the El Dorado of tomorrow.
Nestled in the state of Vermont, the Julius Kingdom farm is the domain of Tata Harper. It is behind her house, on this 500-hectare land that the cosmetologist cultivates the ingredients for the products of her eponymous and 100% natural skincare brand. An organic culture, where plants from all over the world such as lavender, calendula and lemon balm grow, and as such evokes an imaginary of the Garden of Eden myth, a pure and autonomous land, for a self-sufficient economic model.
Ecologic doesn’t just rhyme with organic. Despite an absence of green, the Chinese electric vehicles brand NIO manages to portray a crystalline and pure ecological universe, embodying a form of nirvana through panoramic ethereal landscapes. This aesthetic of purity creates the utopia of an almost deserted world, preserved and devoid of any pollution; an image that the car manufacturer sells through its electric circulation project.
Whilst making space a proprietary and singular territory could seem rather ambitious, the cosmos is increasingly used as a tangible setting for concepts, campaigns and brand activations. This is evident from numerous capsule collections and collaborations related to this theme, such as Balenciaga x NASA. Among the pieces of this drop: a space suit inspired parka. A move that allows the luxury house to brand itself as futuristic, while conveying a sense of adventure and intrigue.
Who says cosmos says mystery about parallel forms of life. The Face2une beauty salon, which presents itself as a “beauty spaceship”, conjures up the imagination of the extra-terrestrial vessel with its metallic interior and architecture punctuated with ultraviolet tones, its mirrors borrowing their shape from porthole windows and its 3D alien faces. So many emerging codes that paint the portrait of a certain Martian experience.
Long played by the world of luxury, this galactic imagination also appeals to more democratic sectors, such as Krispy Kreme, who to celebrate the landing of the Perseverance Rover crew launched a “Mars Donut”, an original & edible limited edition suggesting flavours from beyond. A brand experience that creates proximity and excitement around the intangibility and the ineffable of the planet.
New Worlds and Metaverse
Defining the contours of a brand universe could reach its climax with the advent and sudden democratization of the metaverse. A portal between the real and the virtual, this phenomenon erected into a real fad of tech giants and fashion leaders heralds an important strategic shift. Behind this virtual screen hides the ambition to bring a brand decor to life and to bring together a loyal and active community.
A key player in this new post-real era, a partner of brands such as Vans & Gucci, Roblox is establishing itself as the new playground. This designer cap allows the brand to pre-empt the universe of the metaverse: when we think of Roblox, we think of the infinite possibility of virtual worlds to create, and the magical engineering behind the architecture of each of them.
MYAMI is a Digital Tech-Luxury Fashion House, creating digital fashion with items that can be used and exchanged in virtual worlds. No skyline on their visuals, the models with transparent bodies inhabit a minimalist world on rocky ground in a quasi-lunar atmosphere. As its founder Brad Morris puts it, “Brands born in the metaverse can start having fun with the idea of self-expression.” A new land of possibilities for fashion, far from studios and fashion shows, where everything can be re-imagined.
Side accessory or durable background of brands? The longevity of the metaverse remains to be assessed but holds promise for rich and subversive alternate universes!
Proprietary methodology to support you in building your brand universe
With several hundred brands analysed to its bow, Labbrand has designed a positioning model summoning several universal emotional levers associated with a specific element: the “universe”, which makes it possible to define and create the imaginary world of the brand.
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