In the past decade, the economy reoriented from manufacturing things to manufacturing aspiration. A product like cookware or a plant is never just a cookware or a plant: it’s a conduit for creativity, community, aesthetic pleasure, or a way to minimize environmental impact. When consumers buy a plate or a dress, they signal a lifestyle. When sellers sell a plate or a dress, they signal their worldview. Both sides are looking to impart value signaling into the exchange of goods. A two-track consumption pattern emerged: a) mass consumption of standardized products, and b) considered consumption of signaling products.
This book is about what happens when consumption shifts from accumulation of things to the active signaling of appreciation for these things. Appreciation-signaling is the new status marker that creates distance between the culturally and the tech savvy and the rest. In here, marketing professionals will find examples, analyses, and tools on how to grow in the economy that revolves around experiences, social media likes, and airline miles. Marketers will also learn how to shift their brand narrative and competitive strategy, how to create and distribute new brand symbols, and how ensure that their brand’s products and services create both monetary and social value.
The Business of Aspiration will be out from Taylor & Francis Group in October 2020.
As the economy shifted from manufacturing to experiences, travel, luxury, and art and design, a new breed of brands gained prominence across categories. Often referred to as "modern brands," this new breed is simultaneously a concept, a sector, and a business model. Modern brands exploit things like culture and taste, are dependent on discretionary spending of the wealthy, and are often vertically integrated, digital-first, and externally funded.
Modern brands are also a growth strategy and a new way of management. Through proprietary methodology that combines of a deep dive in a company with business and brand modeling and holistic brand management, I guide my clients to:
"What is most inspiring and impressive about Ana’s writing is her ability to uncover such diverse and unique insights from across a wide range of terrain – be it creative, cultural, culinary, digital or fashion. She then succinctly translates these multi-layered insights into fresh perspectives and concrete strategic frameworks that can be applied globally by brands."
Rori DuBoff, Managing Director, Innovation and Strategy at Accenture Interactive
"There is no one better equipped to help brands navigate the ever-shifting aspirational economy than Ana. With her signature wit and candor, Ana combines years of experience, keen intuition and an unfailing ability to see two steps ahead of the curve to provide the type of insights that can transform a business and a mindset alike."
Steve Dool, Head of Brand Partnerships, Depop
"Real stories about real products that create meaningful relationships with consumers still matter. And consumers' needs are constantly evolving. They always have. but so many brands forget this. Or they think that faking it works too. It doesn’t. This book dives deep into the subject and offers unique insights."
Simon Collins, Founder and CEO of WeDesign and Founder of Fashion Culture Design
"If there's anyone who knows what makes the consumer tick, it is Ana Andjelic. This book is a distillation of her wisdom on how brands must move the needle to match the shifting values of aspiration, desire and transparency."
Mickey Alam Khan, Editor-in-Chief, Luxury Daily
"Ana Andjelic is able to see through the noise of trends and focus on the bigger story which are the elemental things that connect people, which is what branding is about."
Sam Valenti IV, Founder and CEO of Ghostly International
"Ana Andjelic has written a must-read primer for marketers, brand owners, entrepreneurs and everyone else interested in business transformation…read this book - and learn from one of the smartest brains in marketing today."
Tony King, Founder and CEO of King & Partners
"What Ana captures in this book is a sea change of human behavior that is shifting the market. If the last age of brand thinking was about monetizing old symbols of status, the coming age will make moral value highly profitable, and it's all here in these pages. The Business of Aspiration is simultaneously a look into the future of business as well as the heart of today's consumer: the kind of intel any strategist or brand owner is always searching for."
Jasmine Bina, Founder and CEO of Concept Bureau
"Brands across categories, take note. This book comes at the perfect time, when consumers have heightened awareness of brands’ values and tone deaf moves, and are making the conscious choice to wear brands they’re proud to support. This book acts as the ultimate guide to resetting priorities to be in step with the behavior of modern consumers, who have moved on from flaunting wealth and status to showing they have a conscience."
Jill Manoff, Editor-in-Chief, Glossy
"Brand strategy is often full of detached theory, hot air, and posturing. Ana delivers the opposite: razor sharp insights on behaviors, emerging consumer trends, and also a sense of the underlying currents and mysterious forces that shape trends both micro and macro. Every conversation I have with her, I manage to walk away smarter."
Colin Nagy, Partner, Fred and Farid
Ana Andjelic is an experienced strategy executive who specializes in modern luxury brands. Named to Forbes CMO Next, Ana earned her doctorate in sociology and worked at the world’s top brands and advertising agencies. She is widely read columnist, public speaker, and advisor. She lives in New York City.