(Image via Harvard Business Review)
Throughout 2009, David Yermack, a finance professor at NYU, studied stock prices of the retailers and designers worn by Michelle Obama. He found that when the First Lady wore a particular designer, they experienced atypical gains in stock prices. On average, he calculated that $14 million was generated by one public appearance.
More than once, I’ve noticed the First Lady wearing a JCrew item that then sells out in hours. Yermack explains, “Descriptions and images of what she’s wearing spread across the social internet in near-real time, and consumers can buy these fashions almost instantly online. For the first time in history, the cycle of influence is immediate and ubiquitous.”
Imagine all the pill box hats that would have flown off the shelves if Jackie O had been around in the Google Age.