Macklemore’s Thrift Shop affects Consumer Behaviour…?


Who hasn’t heard of Macklemore’s 99-cent leopard mink coat from his smash hit, Thrift Shop?

“Vintage” is the new class.


After the financial crisis in 2008, there seems to be a large rise in price sensitivity amongst consumers. Even thrifting, an endearing abbreviation which modern-day hipsters have coined for thrift shopping, has transformed from a shameful to shameless activity. Celebrities have been advocating it in music videos like Thrift Shop, in sitcoms like 2 Broke Girls, and even in fashion magazines like GQ Magazine. YouTube  personalities and beauty gurus have also been showing off their great buys and pretty looks using drugstore, on sale or thrift store items. Heck, as someone who had never thrifted before, I have even gone out to find some clever buys of myself. And, as I did so last Friday after studying for my consumer behaviour midterm, I had the sudden realization that I had been subject to a form of observational learning.


There are four conditions to modelling, which is a significant type of observational learning. In “self-diagnosis,” I found that I managed to satisfy all of them:

  1. ATTENTION: the model must be desirable to emulate: I followed and took note of the trend amongst big time celebrities in pop culture, beautiful makeup and beauty gurus on YouTube, magazine guides, friends who come back with awesome clothes
  2. RETENTION: the consumer must remember what model says or does: magazine guides give you the “top 3 rules to keep in mind while thrifting”
  3. PRODUCTION PROCESSES: the consumer must convert information into action: I went out to an actual thrift store to try out those tips
  4. MOTIVATION: the consumer must be motivated to perform these actions: I felt motivated because… well hey, who wouldn’t like to get trendy clothes for a fraction of the price? It’s what I like to call a guilt-free deal-steal. It gave me a kind of thrill, and I would do it again. 


I learned, through observing the personalities that I follow online and my peers, that thrift shopping is the new, “in” thing to do, and throughout this time, I have not even seen one single thrift shop advertisement. In hindsight, it could almost be a type of negative reinforcement created unintentionally by social pressures; in this era, you are applauded for a clever, thrifty purchase and have also avoided the unpleasantness of  overpaying.

Who knew that marketing could be applied  in such a non-conventional way!

About Valerie Song

CEO & Co-Founder at AVA Smart Garden | Entrepreneur trained by #1 CPGs.

25. February 2013 by Valerie Song
Categories: Business Ethics, Insight, Marketing Strategies, Product Positioning & Branding | 13 comments

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