Following a traditional blueprint for building brand equity within pop culture, many of the most successful global brands have looked to leverage the collective celebrity and influence of prominent artists and athletes to champion their message, with the intent being to drive consideration among millennial consumers.
Leaning into the allure of achievement, big corporations have been able to capitalize on capturing the attention of millions across the globe who aspire to one day reach the league or land atop the Billboard charts. However, as creators continue evolving to become the new rock, the most impactful brands with limitless potential are pouring bigger budgets and resources into empowering the new creative class — collaborating to develop products, platforms and experiences that tap into the ethos of today’s do-it-yourself generation.
In an era of entrepreneurship, driven by cross-disciplinary creators, cultural capital is becoming more valuable than a dollar. As a result, the exchange rate on influence is eclipsing the value of physical currency. Thus, if you’re a creator tapped into culture and actively shaping it, what you can access with the accumulated influence is more expansive than what can be purchased by a physical dollar alone. This takes the power away from corporations and places it into the hands of creators.
With the emergent movement of creators standing at the forefront of this paradigm shift, smart brands are now transitioning into the role of investor. An increasing number of global giants are relying less on ad agencies and major media spends to deliver their brand message. Instead, they are allocating dollars to the creators developing new products, platforms and experiences shaping how consumers see the world.
By redefining the power dynamic between brands and creators, corporations no longer have the authority to dictate what’s cool or relevant. To engage younger audiences, brands are banking on partnerships with true tastemakers and trendsetters to make a cultural impact. With the rise social media, today’s consumers are looking to the individuals they obsessively follow for information, insight and inspiration.