Forget Grey Goose and flashy wheels, consumer tech is the ultimate social status symbol
If auto owned the 90s and alcohol the naughties, consumer tech owns the 2010s. Consumer technology has overtaken both alcohol and cars as the number one visible social status symbol.
Led by the modern status symbols of Apple, Google and Samsung, the connection between seeing others enjoying a brand and an interest in what the brand does next is almost twice as strong in the Consumer Tech category as it is for automotive or alcohol. But the other category delivering a sense of innovation-enhanced status is retail. brand consumers are most interested in what the brand does next is actually Retailer of the Year Aldi, who have demonstrated that through ongoing investment in innovation, brands from any sector can create a sense of anticipation and excitement.
The ballpark for staying ‘hot’ and socially relevant has shifted and former leaders have failed to keep up. Alcohol brands in particular need to focus more effort on providing aspirational drinking occasions and symbols of social status that can be amplified at scale through social media. Meanwhile, consumer tech brands should focus on amplifying the social benefits of product ownership, versus pure functionality. And all brands should remember that in our innovation-obsessed world, pioneering initiatives and consumer advocacy go hand in hand.