Nalgene & Tinder
Nalgene – My understanding is that this company basically revolutionized the water bottle with their design. Nalgene bottles are huge, nearly indestructible, and durable. Possibly because water bottles are associated with sports and the outdoors, it became popular to flaunt personal interests – like skiing, canoeing, or skateboarding – by covering Nalgene bottles with particular stickers. Because they last such a long time, Nalgene bottles turned a commodity – water – into a work of highly individualized art. Each owner valued his or hers as an expression of themselves. For a while, Nalgene owned the water bottle industry to the extent that their name held an association to the product the way Kleenex enjoys an automatic connection to all facial tissues. Since then, several other companies like Camelbak have made strides towards replicating the success Nalgene discovered.
Tinder – an app that has recently gained a lot of popularity. Once you sign up through your Facebook account, you get the opportunity to like or skip single people in your area based off of their pictures. If you like each other, it’s a “match” and you get to message each other. If not, no one’s the wiser. I think this app is getting a lot of attention because it allows college-aged people to meet and judge others nearby in a superficial way. It plays off the shallowness of those seeking companionship by showing only a picture, a name and an age. Since only your matches know you liked them, Tinder’s format eliminates the awkward rejection that can accompany pursuing dates, and allows its users to like others with impunity. Tinder also supports the vanity of youth by enabling them to see who finds them attractive. I think all of these strategic choices make Tinder extremely desirable to their target population.