Sunday, August 29, 2010

Why we buy expensive $#!T

I've just finished reading a really interesting book on fashion marketing, and one of the key ideas I came away with from it is that the reason people enjoy purchasing specific brands has changed over the years.

In the 80s and 90s, you would buy a fancy handbag or an expensive shirt, and really want the brands and logos plastered all over it. This is because this was the days of "showing off," and brands were a signal to other people of your wealth and success.

Louis Vuitton, famous for plastering its logo all over, has these "non-logo-ed" bags in their Fall '10 collection.

In the 21st century though, it's starting to be "tacky" to be a walking billboard. Instead, we are onto the time of "personal satisfaction," where a subtle, expensive item (with no visible logo) give us satisfaction because we are internally excited that we can afford to own it

It helps our self-esteem, gives us a "boost" to walk around with it, even if other people have no idea.

The book doesn't give reasons for this, but I can think of a few:

  • The 90s witnessed the "individualistic" generation, with a push for "be who you want to be" ideas, which is against the face of identical logos on all products
  • This individualistic idea also spread to a move towards "mixing and matching," where people would no longer dress head-to-toe in the same brand. They would wear many brands, and this made the logo idea look over the top, with too many logos on one person.
  • There has been the new idea of "affordable luxuries," with people "treating" themselves to cheap luxuries such as fancy coffee, expensive lingerie, a branded hair band etc. This gets people used to the idea of "personal satisfaction" and they can then apply it to bigger purchases. 
  • The new millennium has really brought issues of social justice to the floor, and showing such "loud" support for the Big Guys can be seen as politically incorrect.

Whatever the reasons, to me, it seems somehow a nicer reason to buy expensive things. =)

Thank you for the pictures.

1 comment:

  1. it's just trashy. big fat logos everywhere.