Has Purpose Made Brands Forget How To Be Cool?
Cool is still about aesthetics. It always will be, despite its generational variations. From ironic millennial pink to the pared back streetwear of Gen Z, style is the key to cool. Cool continues to be about confidence too, the self-assured swagger that led James Jebbia to call his brand Supreme. But here’s the twist: You can have all the aesthetics and all the confidence and you don’t have to be the bad guy. You can have the good trainers and the directional haircut without being a total nut job. You can be kind, progressive, make a positive difference and still be cool. In fact, it’s this powerful combination that is driving modern culture forward. Cool is Kendrick Lamar being the best rapper in the world and taking politics head on. Cool is the 10 minutes of silence in Master of None that takes the viewer inside the world of a deaf New Yorker. Cool is the radical queerness of Frank Ocean’s Blonde. Cool is Beyoncé’s Black Panther homage. Cool is Broad City’s feminism. Cool is balance. Cool is both. Since purpose became a brand strategy, cool has taken a back seat. To do purpose, to really stand for something in the world, brands must be earnest, they must show that they mean it, they must hold a mirror up to the real world and conduct social experiments to show that they genuinely understand. We’ve wrongly assumed that doing purpose means you can’t be cool, but I’d go as far as to say being cool is a necessity. Read more at Fast Company.