The flex commerce era 💪
What new ways of showing off mean for the consumer market
Flex commerce \ˈfleks \ ˈkä-(ˌ)mərs is demonstration of one’s taste, wokeness and cultural savvy through their spending.
Flex commerce is like having a giant dog in NYC. It’s a flex that one has an apartment big enough for a mastiff.
The purpose of flex commerce is to establish one’s status as distinct to others. Unlike other forms of commerce, it’s unrelated to the cost of goods and services, but to their intangible, symbolic value. In flex commerce, price is secondary. Primary are the cultural, social and environmental capital that a good or service carries.
Flex commerce isn’t new, but has recently become more intriguing thanks to our inability to show off through the latest season clothing or travel. Few want to risk taking a selfie in the full luxury designer garb without looking like someone who didn’t get the “sweatpants attire mandatory” memo. There’s nothing to see and no party to be at (well, almost). Travel pictures are mostly reserved for the throwback genre.
Instead of fancy clothing and fancy destinations, there are Spotify #2020wrapped to show off one’s taste, along with bookcases, vinyl collections, nature walks, plant colonies, cooking adventures, workouts, home improvement projects, podcasts, newsletters, Instagram gift guides. Influencers are flexing their H&M, Zara and COS treasure-hunting skills.
The new flex commerce is simultaneously a power move and a process of self-actualization.