Apparently it doesn't matter whether or not she's a cat. (It seems she is not.)
People love Hello Kitty anyway. So much so that more than 25,000 fans just flocked to Hello Kitty Con in Los Angeles to celebrate the brand's 40th anniversary. (No, Hello Kitty isn't calling it a birthday party.) How many other brands could sell out a four-day brand spectacular and get a pop megastar like Katy Perry to tattoo the ambassador on her hand?
Maybe Hello Kitty's popularity can be attributed to her message. She stands for friendship and kindness, after all. But can that really explain how the brand is worth the roughly $8 billion of retail business it garnered in 2013 without traditional advertising?
The brand is quite active on social channels and posts regularly. And fans love to interact. Above, see Katy Perry's fresh ink from this past weekend's Hello Kitty Con.
While the brand doesn't do traditional advertising, Hello Kitty did make an appearance in a recent McDonald's spot.
- Hello Kitty has been kicking around since 1974. Illustrator Yuko Shimizu was allegedly inspired by Through the Looking Glass, sketched the character and showed the drawing to her boss.
- The first Hello Kitty product was a vinyl coin purse.
- After 40 years, the brand has grown to be worth roughly $8 billion without advertising.