What is Drop Culture?

Drop culture and its use in viral marketing have been an incredible tool when it comes to spreading brand awareness.

Not only do people get excited to try something new and exclusive, but they get a rush from being part of an exclusive group. Brands have leveraged social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to gain mass appeal.

While drops were initially created as a way for early adopters to purchase brands' must-have products and hyped collaborations, the phenomenon has since crossed over into the mainstream.

Benefits of Limited Drops

For brands that have built a loyal customer base, drop culture can be a great way to monetize that loyalty and grow their business.

Drops are becoming more popular among brands, but they're not new. Some of the first known drops started with brands like Supreme and B.A.P.E.

Artists like Kanye West used drops as a way to promote new shoes by offering special editions to fans — often only available for 24 hours or less — before making them available again at full price.

They tapped into F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out) by creating unique experiences for their most devoted fans. They also created scarcity around limited edition items that could become collector's items later down the road. The illusion of rarity creates a sense of urgency.

In recent years, drops have become more mainstream and evolved from being used just for album releases into marketing strategies for many industries, including fashion, beauty and even tech products like smartphones and laptops.

Here are some of the benefits of limited drops.

Word of mouth. A successful drop release can create a positive word-of-mouth buzz (and sometimes even press) for brands, thus attracting new audiences and potential customers.

Build anticipation and hype around new products. Drop culture allows brands to build hype around upcoming product launches while increasing awareness around existing products incentivizing consumers to purchase them early.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, drops are a tool for brands to market themselves. How far along the hype cycle a brand is, dictates what type of release (if any) makes the most sense.

A new brand may want to create its own hype, while an established brand with a loyal customer base may choose to feed off of fan excitement about limited items or exclusive looks.

There's no doubt that drops have become a standard in the streetwear industry, but future success will hinge on how well brands can continue to leverage them and thus optimise their reach as a company.


Shopify (2022). Limited Drops: Everything You Need to Know + 9 Brands Doing it Right. Retrieved 15 July 2022, from https://www.shopify.com/retail/limited-drops

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