8 brands that cater to basic bitches and bros

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Since it was first posted on Urban Dictionary in 2006, "basic," a derogatory term for walking cliches of both the male and female variety, has transformed into a word that millions of Americans ages 15-50 use just about every day.

Whatever its origins, "basic" has come to mean liking the things everyone else likes. Basic is about being typically normal, while normcore is about being surprisingly normal.

When you add "bros" or "bitches" to the end of "basic," its connotation turns even more negative. Yet these are the consumers that brands should love the most. I took a look at eight brands associated with basics, and found that in the fickle world of retail, you're better off with them than without them.
You might scan this list and think to yourself, almost shamefully, "Wait. I love that thing! But I'm not basic!" Here's the secret: Each of us is a little basic. And that's why these companies are so successful. They make everyone feel special, even if we're all really the same.

STARBUCKS

The Pumpkin Spice Latte, also called the PSL -- mostly by basics -- is Starbucks's most memorable limited-edition drink, available from the end of August through early December. (In its first decade of the PSL's existence, the company sold more than 200 million.) As of late, Starbucks has tried to look a little less basic by introducing its version of a "flat white," a coffee drink beloved in Australia. But it shouldn't try too hard. In the last quarter of 2014, the PSL was credited with helping to boost global sales to $4.2 billion, a 10 percent percent increase from the same period in the previous year.

THE NORTH FACE

Every basic loves a winter jacket from the North Face, which was founded in 1968 in San Francisco. Why? Because it keeps you warm and looks good while doing it! In 2000, the then-struggling brand was acquired by retail conglomerate VF Corporation for $25.4 million. A steal, given that it generated more than $2 billion in sales in 2013.

MICHAEL KORS

The stock market darling designs bags -- each decorated with an "MK" trinket -- that basics across the globe adore. So much, in fact, that the brand made sales of $1.1 billion in the last quarter alone, a 42.7 percent increase from the same period the year before. While sales in North America were strong, Europe's jumped a whopping 108.6 percent to $237.9 million. In Japan, sales increased by 106.3 percent to $16.5 million.

"SEX AND THE CITY"

The joke is that basics even love the terribly censored and edited reruns of "Sex and the City." And plenty made it out to the movie theater to see the franchise-killing "Sex and the City 2," which generated more than $288 million at the box office worldwide. (The first film brought in $415 million.)

TAYLOR SWIFT

The Spotify-battling, BFF-collecting pop star is the "Musical Equivalent to the Pumpkin Spice Latte," according to Time, which is more than enough to earn her a place on this list. Sales of her 2014 album 1989 -- which happens to be the year that she, along with a lot of other basics, was born -- topped 1.2 million in the first week. That's insanely impressive, given the general decline of record sales.

THE DAILY MAIL

A lot of people hate this British tabloid-turned-web juggernaut. (Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman does a particularly good job ofcondemning it time and again.) But guess what? A lot of people love it, too: some privately, most publicly! The Daily Mail keeps basics updated on Kim Kardashian's latest outfit, but it also covers personal interest stories. For instance, it recently tracked down Karl Lagerfeld's "secret" American sister. (Who, by the way, looks just like him.)

BANANA REPUBLIC

The Gap, Inc. subsidiary got made fun of quite a bit last year for a marketing campaign featuring a "startup" guy. In truth, it wasn't so far off. Banana is where a lot of basic bros shop for work clothes. In the third quarter of its 2014 fiscal year, the brand generated $706 million in sales. It's true that the aesthetic of the label is changing: lauded creative director Marissa Webb's first full collection hits stores this April. But BR's goal, to outfit the cubicle dwellers of America, has not.

LULULEMON

The Vancouver-based maker of the most famous yoga pants in the world has had its fair share of bad press over the past couple of years, but it's still wildly popular. Sales in the third quarter of 2014 were $419.4 million, a 10 percent increase from the same period the year before.

UGG AUSTRALIA

The ladies at both Vogue.co.uk and Vogue.com might love their Uggs, but that doesn't make the shearling-lined booties any less basic. In 2013, sales of the perennially popular footwear tallied $818 million. (A slight dip from the year previous, although that number doesn't include e-commerce or Ugg's own stores.)

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