End of a Decade
This is the last year of the wonderfully strange ‘10s decade. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but I hope that as we begin the next decade we can leave a few things in the past. Lately, I’ve been thinking about a few trends that sprung up during the ‘10s, and I hope we don’t bring them into the ‘20s.
Glossier/Everlane/Casper/etc. Style branding
It’s honestly a little scary how nearly every brand that wants to target ~milennials~ and ~Gen Z~ uses the exact same “minimalist” style branding. You know the look: a Helvetica or Futura Bold type logo, one color throughout the branding (usually a muted tone like “glossier pink”), and an emphasis on simplicity. Here are some pictures from Urban Outfitters’ beauty section, note how these different brands blend together. It would be nice to see brands with a more unique look, because these days it’s hard to tell them apart.
I know it’s super easy to talk down on influencers but this is not that. I have genuine respect for people who are able to grow an audience on the internet and leverage their following to bring in a sizeable income. I personally have no clue how it’s done seeing as how I’ve been on Instagram since 2012 and still haven’t even reached 500 followers. That being said, I think we’ve already reached peak influencer. Now that companies are seeking out “micro-influencers”, accounts with 10-30k followers, the space seems ridiculously crowded. I don’t believe that influencer is an accurate term any longer because I doubt that people are seriously taking recommendations from people who have #ad under every single post they make.
It all started with Birchbox in 2010. Then Michelle Phan’s Ipsy subscription service launched in 2012. For $10 a month, subscribers get a bag of five beauty samples. There’s CurlBox too, a subscription service that sends out natural hair product samples. There are hundreds of these for fashion (Stitch Fix, Frank + Oak), food (Blue Apron, Graze), and even pets (Bark Box, Groombox). There are even subscription services that send you a new candle every month. These subscriptions seem super convenient in the beginning, but they end up being a waste of money when you’re spending $10 per month on four different subscriptions. Also, consider the waste they generate from packaging and the products that will inevitably be discarded; there’s no way to guarantee that each product in the box will appeal to the subscriber.