The Standard. USA, 1999
Few brands live up to their name like The Standard. Many regard it as a barometer of all things urban and hip, and its high profile and influence ought not be possible for a hotel business with only five US locations.
The Standard’s enviable reputation has been built specifically by avoiding tourism industry clichés. Instead, the brand uses a variety of platforms to engage with a trendy global audience. Among these, special product and gift boutique initiatives make an important contribution to the size and shape of The Standard’s global brand footprint.
Products made by and for The Standard are created selectively, often in collaboration with hip partner brands who share a sensibility for the beauty of simple, utilitarian objects.
Product lines like blankets, pool towels and art prints are categories that, besides providing obvious fit, are used to validate The Standard’s membership in a community of taste-makers and creative elites. Its limited edition releases are sought-after as collectibles and frequently bring the brand to wider prominence.
Urban art is an important part of the hotel’s brand DNA. Given the sub-cultural flavour of its interiors, installations and exhibitions, it’s only natural to find names like Parlá, Haze and Basquiat in The Standard’s physical and digital boutiques.
A 2011 collaboration with urban art hero KAWS is one of the best examples of how it uses tiny actions from beyond the mainstream to create wider resonance. The artist’s specially designed Light Bulb Series – used both as an architectural feature and limited edition product release – caused a minor sensation in the competitive art collector community.
With iconic locations to go with a well defined identity, The Standard brings unique leverage to brand partnerships. Many of its collaborators lease lobby retail space or use The Standard as a venue for pop-ups, events and shoots. Quiksilver’s poolside swimwear vending machine is a prime example of how deeply The Standard can immerse partners in its own brand experience and generate valuable exposure.
“Limited Edition Products Articulate The Standard’s Hip, Urban Stance” is a post from our ‘Collaboration Generation’ series: profiling companies who use brand innovation platforms to double down on specialness, and extend their reach and influence.