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The duality of genres and what happens when you expand into another product niche

The duality of genres and what happens when you expand into another product niche

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The duality of genres

The continued evolution of mixing urban and outdoors is fun to watch. My latest favorite execution of this is Adsum’s partnership with Gramicci. These two independent brands have optimized what being an outdoor brand looks like.

I love this collaboration because both brands have shared values, product types, and consumer overlap. This collab works well because these pieces are synonymous with both environments. Who’s to say that these outfits don’t work whether you’re going for a hike, or to Blue Bottle for coffee?

Another callout: separating good creative from great creative sometimes rests on your ability to tap into cultural irony. In this shoot, Adsum drew inspiration from the famous Batman and Robin episode of scaling a building. Tapping into this nostalgia is something anyone can apply in their own way with their products.

From niche to niche

We’ve written before about niche brands as the de-facto path enabling creators and entrepreneurs to start small, sustainable businesses. These brands have carved out a significant place inside their chosen category, becoming cult favorites or high-end category upstarts.

But where do you expand from there?

We’re seeing those brands move cross-category into tangential spaces, versus trying to own their entire competition. This is especially true if there are product types whose functions overlap.

An example of this is District Vision, a running brand that’s transitioned from running to cycling while staying focused on a niche audience of mindful-focused athletes.

The materials renaissance

Last week, we touched on sustainable materials for brands. This is the tip of the iceberg for what’s happening in research and development. Technology-enabled design is just beginning what we feel will be its next inflection point — ideas brought to life by innovators who work with technologists to get something for their own brands that are then pushed to a wider market.

Issey Miyake collaborated with Nature Architects on a prototype fabric set that transforms from a flat fabric into a three-dimensional form in high-temperature steam, and it’s incredible, have a look at this and let us know about other tech-first fabrics you find interesting right now.