The Case of Supreme.
Emma affectionately gazed at the new charm on her bracelet, the Eiffel Tower, as she flew back home. Unable to resist the urge, she had also purchased a Safari charm at the Paris Pandora store. Now playing with it, she smiled as she pictured herself exploring the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. Meanwhile, at Milan’s Pandora store, Anna and her parents eagerly scanned the showcases for the perfect charm to celebrate her acceptance into her dream school – York University’s Schulich School of Business. “I think you should go with the Brighton Lipstick Charm! It’s perfect for an aspiring business woman like you,” said the charming salesperson. Like many women, Emma and Anna have figured out the ideal way of expressing their deepest interests and aspirations: through Pandora charms.
After a seemingly unstoppable growth period during the beginning of the 21st century, the iconic American brand Harley Davidson was in serious trouble. Not only did the 2008 global economic crisis hit it hard, but more importantly, its core target market was shrinking fast (Seizemore 2013). Composed primarily of American Baby Boomer males, this aging demographic had plenty of disposable income and sought an escape from the monotony of daily life by indulging their long-lost aspirations of rebellion (Holt 2004). As profitable as this market segment once was, Harley Davidson had no choice but to shift branding gears and create new customer experiences.
This week, people all around the world will make very similar consumer decisions: buying a card, ordering flowers, getting chocolate, and booking a nice restaurant. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it seems that we are celebrating our feelings in a global village of love and romantic consumption. But is there more to the event than meets the commercial eye?