A contributing writer for Fast Company, Lucas Conley is an experienced journalist with an eye for stories that change how we see the world. Widely published in a number of fields, his work has appeared in The Boston Globe, SPIN, and ESPN: The Magazine, among other publications.
Topic: The Comforts of Obsessive Branding
Lucas Conley: The most exaggerated is in Asia. I know I talked about status, the very first example in the book of this is this kind of homogeneity is of Louis Vuitton purses in Japan. It was something like nintey-four percent of women in their twenties have this brand and there are similar examples with other brands in Asia that it reaches that kind of ninetieth percentile kind of level where you realize that this is a culturally broad means of identifying ourselves to each other, but also it’s the simple trust of knowing that Applebee’s is going to serve me a kind of crappy meal but it’s going to be better than this guy over here that when I pull off the highway I have no idea what his restaurant’s like. And that kind of uniformity is a product of the marketing. It’s a product of us buying in to the chain stores or the same outfit at Gap or some of these kind of trends when they come... when they sweep through if it’s something like Croc sandals can be a global sensation very quickly now because of the way the market works and because of the way information travels, and it does. It gives you a sense of almost a blandness. This kind of understanding of what’s cool, what’s niche, what’s hip, can be blasted very quickly to large groups and that of course just speeds up the cycle of what’s cool and what’s hip. If it was... If it took three months for something to fall out of favor with hipsters in Brooklyn before, now it takes one month and that kind of cycle as it gets faster is also interesting to me ‘cause how fast can it go, where will it go, can we really launch a new iPhone once a year or once every six months and where... at what point do we slow that back a little bit, and where- how much can- how much does society and culture absorb as we deal with the global market?
Recorded on: 7/23/08