So, you’ve decided to ignite the entrepreneurial flame within you and start your own business – you’ve seen all of these seemingly pedestrian businesses flourish off of the ‘hipster effect’, and you want a piece of the pie. There are a few key elements you need to pay attention to, and things you need to be aware of – and, it’s a bit of a shift from the usual advice you’d receive. To the unaware, you may be wondering, what the hell is the hipster effect?
There’s an entire market out there known as hipsters, they follow the latest trends and fashions, but, especially if they’re outside of cultural norm. A simple definition is – they’re a group that spends a lot of money to make it look like they don’t have much, or care about spending money. Once this market latches onto your product or service, your business will exponentially grow – it’s like a secret formula. Think I’m crazy? American Apparel is a classic example of this effect – you think people actually need or want $40 white t-shirts?
Here’s a look at what you need to think about to attract the hipsters like walkers on a season finale of The Walking Dead
Location, Location, Location
You’ve heard this adage over and over, but it’s not what you think. You don’t want a prime location, you don’t want a huge amount of foot traffic, you don’t even need ample parking – although there should be space for a bike rack or two. Your location needs to be out of the way, it needs to be in a community that may not even be doing very well. A place where the pretentious feel like they’re giving back just by visiting your business. When someone is describing your location, you want them to say, ‘it’s this little place tucked away’ or ‘you’d never think you’d find the best ______ there, but, they’re amazing’.
Try not to make your place obvious, you don’t want to be able to tell what it is just by looking at it. Have an item that’s out of place, is it a bakery? Have a safe for no reason sitting in the corner. Is it a clothing store? Have a couple of barber shops along the wall. Why?, you ask? Shut up, it’s kitschy, it’s art, you’re not supposed to get it, forget the rules, that’s why. Don’t worry about a ton of signage inside, chalkboards, and chalk art is more than enough. Your walls should look like a Pinterest subscribers wet dream. You don’t need a ton of space, seating is a premium, even when there’s only six people in the place, you want people to say, ‘man, it’s always so packed in here’ or ‘trust me it’s worth the wait’
Whatever it is you’re making or selling – make sure it’s hipster friendly. You need to stay on the right side of the line when it comes to things like GMO’s, gluten, parabens, quinoa, kale, dairy, and organics – and you need to tell EVERYONE about it.
Your staff are super important – they need to be hipsters, and a couple of old folks who haven’t let go of their youth just yet. You want staff that can be described as granola, and some that are funky, and different hair colors and styles are encouraged. Your place is so unique, and so are your people! (In reality, you’re a carbon copy of other hipster friendly joints).
You’re at least 15-20% more than what you should be, because you sell a ‘premium’ product, and you need the extra money to do frivolous stuff that doesn’t really benefit the business or yourself – commit to the lifestyle! People will justify paying a little more for the experience – and more importantly for the fact that they can say they’ve visited. You’ll hear things like, ‘yeah, it’s a little pricier, but it’s sooo worth it’.
Your packaging may be the most important piece of everything. You need to be social media friendly. When someone is carrying your shopping bag or container out, you want it to be very Instagram friendly – the logo or lack of one should pop. You want people to X-Pro and Sierra the shit out of your stuff. Social media in fact will become your primary form of advertising – driving traffics, lineups and word of mouth all around your business. The magical thing about hipsters is that they’ll tell everyone about this place you just have to try, whether it’s on social media or actually talking to people in real life at a wheat grass bar.