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Brand Purpose Brand Strategy Open Mic

Why 2024 is the year of brand ubiquity

By Todd Kaufman, VP, strategy & partnerships



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January 22, 2024 | 7 min read

Whether it's in the food, film or fashion space, there's a common trend among brands right now, says Beanstalk's Todd Kaufman - and it doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon.

Jenni's pop tart ice cream - an example of brand ubiquity

While appreciating a brand’s history and heritage has long been a behavior of nostalgia-loving Gen Zs and Millennials, 2023 proved that they are also completely here for new and evolving brand content. With this, we can expect 2024 to be a year of continued brand ubiquity.

Last year, no two brands were more visible than Taylor Swift and Barbie. Through content and merchandise, each iconic woman showed us that a brand can – and must – meet shoppers anywhere along the consumer journey.

If executed well, products can act as one of the most effective forms of marketing that will lead consumers to continue coming back to the well for more. We’ll see the lines continue to blur between food, fashion and film properties as each segment has established credibility to partner within the other.


Take Pop-Tarts for example. Last year the iconic toaster pastry partnered with Nestle Coffee-Mate and Jeni’s Ice Cream for close-to-core consumable extensions that tied directly back to its flavor equities. They also launched buzzworthy lifestyle collaborations with Crocs (featuring edible Jibbitz) and crochet artisan, London Kaye for a line of “Grandma Chic” sweaters, the latter of which supported the launch of their new flavor: Frosted Banana Bread.

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The year was capped off with the introduction of The Pop-Tart Bowl and their edible mascot, Strawberry, who became a social media sensation. The brand just humorously announced that the Bowl will return for 2024, the year in which they will celebrate their 60th anniversary and follow the trend of brands becoming content with the release of Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story, starring and directed by Jerry Seinfeld.


In 2024, Mean Girls is celebrating its 20th anniversary. First, the fan-favorite film was re-released in theaters as a musical this month. To commemorate Cady’s return to the big screen, Paramount established a suite of brand partnerships that pay homage to the original, while embracing the new.

Coffee-Mate launched its first pink creamer while reminding consumers they’re not a regular creamer, they’re a cool creamer. The brand also announced two fashion lifestyle collections. First, an apparel collaboration with leading Gen Z retailer, American Eagle.

Paramount also partnered with Olympia Le-Tan for an ultra-premium collection of designer clutches that turn the Burn Book into a fashion accessory. While some fans may not be “grool,” with the entry level price point of nearly $1,900, there is no debating that these bags are so fetch.

The film also featured a product integration through a beauty partnership with e.l.f. Not only did they release a limited edition “Every Day We Wear Pink” bundle at retail, the products were also highly visible throughout the film. To kick off the partnership, e.l.f. ran a sweepstakes inviting consumers to join their beauty squad for a chance to win a trip to New York City for the premiere.


Ralph Lauren has defined the tone for American fashion. The industry legend captures a state of mind with his iconic designs and homage to a simple, yet elite lifestyle. In recent years, the brand has extended into the world of dining with a two-pronged strategy. First is fine dining. Led by uber-exclusive celebrity hotspot, The Polo Bar in New York City, the brand opened its Paris location last month, joining other high-concept restaurants and bars in Chicago, Milan and Chengdu.

For a more approachable dining experience, consumers can visit Ralph’s Coffee, which now has more than twenty locations throughout the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The shops have become destinations within their cities and have launched local collaborations such as a customized Ralph’s Coffee Cake Doughnut available in their Chicago location through a partnership with The Doughnut Vault. The shops have long sold merch such as bags and mugs, as well as their custom bean blend, produced by La Colombe. Now they are letting consumers bring the experience home with the launch of Cold Brew Cans, which are available for sale within Ralph’s Coffee shops, Ralph Lauren clothing stores and online.


How, where and when brands show up in new product formats is critical to creating cultural topspin, which in turn fuels engagement with the core offering. Brands must do both the expected and the unexpected. They need to be available via clicks and in bricks. They need to be affordable and accessible while also playing in spaces that are exclusive and aspirational. They need to lean into nostalgia while also creating newness. In short, they need to strike the perfect balance of being both omnipresent and carving out niches. All while remaining authentic.

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