The Business of Aspiration is about how consumers' shifting status symbols change business and brand strategy. These shifting status symbols, like taste, aesthetic innovation, curation or environmentalism create the modern aspirational economy.
In contrast to traditional economy, where consumers signaled their status through collecting commodities, Instagram followers, airline miles, and busy back-to-back schedules, in the modern aspirational economy they convey it through collecting knowledge, taste, micro-communities, and influence.
This new capital changes the way businesses and entire markets operate, yet the modern aspirational economy is still an understudied area in business and culture. The Business of Aspiration aims to change that.
In this book, marketers will find examples, analyses and tools on how brands can successfully grow in the modern aspirational economy. The Business of Aspiration answers questions like, “what is good for my brand long-term?”, “how is this business decision going to impact our culture?” or “what are the main objectives of our growth?” Marketers will learn to shift their brand narrative and competitive strategy, to create and distribute new brand symbols, and to ensure that their brand’s products and services create both monetary and social value.
Companies are really good at creating business models and brand strategies around economic value. They have a lofty goal of building a brand so strong that everyone would want to wear a t-shirt with its logo on it, yet are still trapped in the manufacturing mindset, focused on monetization, efficiency, and productivity growth. There’s a disconnect in the value they aspire to create and the value they’re actually creating.
To address this disconnect, I launched a practice that develops new business models to make brands' products and services valuable beyond price or utility and to build an architecture to deliver and turn value into profit. I created five brand strategy models and their underlying business architectures. These models chart different business growth trajectories and define how brands create product portfolios, expand into new categories, saturate their market, and protect their pricing power.
Through proprietary methodology that combines a deep dive in a company, business and brand modeling, and holistic brand management, I collaborate with brands 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 is a strategy executive who focuses on management and growth of modern brands. Named to one of The Most Influential CMOs in the World by Forbes, Ana earned her Doctorate in Sociology and worked at the world's top brands and advertising agencies. She is a widely read columnist, public speaker and advisor.