San Francisco, city of revolutions, birthplace of new social models and new trends turned mainstream. At the heart of this city which is continually questioning the future of usage and social norms, brands are increasingly offering products that challenge the status quo. From mass market goods to niche products, there is no escaping the fact that "NO" is an increasingly powerful tool for brands.
No toxins: no parabens, no artificial fragrance, no artificial flavors, no gluten, no animal testing, no bullshit. In one of the most progressive cities in the U.S., saying no means that consumers can have a say when it comes to their own dietary or ethical aspirations. And the result of this free-from movement is the emergence of a new type of category that questions a brand’s production methods or moral compass.
Unlike France and Europe where "no" and "without" are synonymous with deprivation, the U.S. is leading the charge on design that embodies a positive pairing back, helping consumers reclaim control in the face of a world that is constantly evolving its conscience.
These uses of ‘NO’ resonate like the affirmation of a potential new order. Whereas in the 2000s, we were bombarded with all kinds of superlatives and additives, today it’s the less-is-more approach that is feeding the aspirations of modern consumers. These proclamations mark the start of a more responsible, transparent and involved attitude agenda for savvy brands. In a landscape where consumers value trust and integrity above all else, this movement means tangible and concrete commitments to help win back mistrustful consumers.
So what does San Francisco have to do with all this you ask? This city, once the centre of the hippie movement, is now an open-air laboratory, where not a day goes by without the launch of a new start-up or brand. This city is open-minded and unprejudiced, opening the doors to smart brands who are ready to tap into a demographic willing to pay more for brands that do less. May the bravest brands join these ranks, say no and prevail.
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