Those who’ve kept up with the evolving consumer consciousness will know that screaming logos and brand name wears are so very early-2000s. It was a common dream. Popping your Versace sunglasses into your Guess bag and jumping into your Ferrari to drive to Franschhoek… these Status Symbols were IN and aspirational, even among less affluent markets. And although this showoff trend is far from dead, the mature market consumer of 2015 is far less likely to buy into the Mean Girls mentality of “face-value status”…

Unless of course it is done in irony. Online clothing brands like Shopjeen and Omighty speak internet satire.  And they are gaining a lot of attention from the Millennial markets by ripping off trashy 90’s and 2000’s status symbols, proving that if you’re still wearing that screen-printed Gucci tee in earnest, you’re a meme and you don’t know it. But we digress.

The Post-Status consumer is nothing new. They are what we call “timeless” individuals, unswayed by passing fads. They buy into the “why” rather than the “what”, and perceive their decisions around consumption as being conscious and evolved. But, as with every consumption trend, Post-Status has it’s paradox. Post-status is NOT anti-status – in fact, Post-Status consumers are just as stature-hungry as everyone else. The distinction is that these consumers measure status in a different way.

Though unconcerned about branding, Post-Status individuals make “justifiable purchases”, based on function, quality, aesthetics and ethics. These four factors are status symbols in themselves. (Brands are quickly catching on. From next year, Abercrombie and Fitch, will no longer be displaying their logos on their apparel)

However, the Post-Status movement takes it further than physical consumption. Owning and buying gives way to the mature market’s ultimate status symbol – being good at something. Status Skills have long been around, but 2015 is the year of the instant, “just add water” variety: As an example, crowdfunded Seedsheet offers aspiring gardeners to enter the location of their garden (to identify which plants will thrive), and plan their bed using the online garden-building software. A custom ‘Seedsheet’ is then dispatched, which can just be unrolled onto soil and watered.

The perception of value and status is undoubtedly fluid, and the Post-Status consumer epitomises the fact. As with any fluctuating metric, it is vital for businesses to keep on top of these changes in consumer behaviour. Hunger for higher status is one of the prime motivations for consumption, and it’s up to your brand to pin down what “status” means to your consumer, no matter how elusive it may seem.