Brand Obsession – What’s in a Name?

Why so expensive? ‘Because it is branded!’ If you have ever responded the same way trying to prove that a thing is valuable because it has a certain name tag attached to it, then you certainly are brand- conscious. But really, what’s in a brand name?

What makes a Name a Brand?

You do! Really that’s the honest answer. Think of it for a minute. How many products can you think of that are known by their generic names? We say ‘Google it’ when we actually mean to search something on the Internet. We ask for ‘Coke’ when we actually mean a soft drink. And we call it a ‘Louis Vuitton’ not just a bag.

A street wear may be comparable to a branded wear, when it comes to the material, longevity or even appreciation. But still brand-obsessed people are ready to spend lavishly on a tiny article, say a handbag or a tie, without giving much thought. What is it that makes a Rolex watch or Nike shoes so pricey and treasured? Mostly brands are associated with status symbol. Sometimes it is the desire to look beautiful and affluent and occasionally it is the peer pressure. But all the time, it is the inner contentment which induces people to buy labelled brands, agree most of the brand aficionados. It is this feeling of uniqueness that the brand owner is someone special who possess a rare and precious thing. That immense feeling of contentment coupled with the warranty of precious stuff plus the uniqueness one feels donning branded attire or carrying a labelled purse is simply matchless!

Is Pakistan Brand cognizant?

Brand consciousness in Pakistan is also on the rise ever more with mounting media influence in the society. Mass westernization may have fuelled the dedication towards brands, but it is a fact that the major population has joined the race to possess the best labels in its wardrobe.

The increasing preference for particular brand can be especially seen in the purchase of clothes, accessories and perfumes. “I am very selective that my watches are of the best possible make. Next would be shoes and of course, mobile phones!” says Rezwan Ahmed, a consultant. “But I am not fussy when it comes to clothes” he adds gawkily.

While men seem to be choosier about their shoes and watches, women are finicky about their clothes and jewellery. Samina Khalid, an entrepreneur, affirms that cosmetics and perfumes top her list. “Of course I am very particular about my clothes, but cosmetics and perfumes are things that I adore most!”

Generally, it is assumed that only the well-heeled ones are obsessive about branded products, but the growth of branded outlets in Pakistan depicts the change in buying pattern of all, especially youngsters. Bombarded by advertisement messages on TV and Internet, our young generation is not only brand savvy but highly brand cognizant.

Brands – Luxury or Necessity for Youth?

Having grown up in a more media-overwhelmed and brand-conscious world than their parents, teenagers respond to brands in a different way. Instead of the original product, they are more concerned about kind of product. “Do you have a Dell or HP?” or else “Nokia or Samsung?”

Peer pressure is suggested as the main cause behind brand obsession among youngsters who cant really afford it, experts say. Youngsters admit that the desire to look good, and chic is an expensive habit. “After all clothing reveals one’s personality,” says Asad Durrani, 17, student. He usually learn about new products from his friends and then find it on the Internet, he says.

Shifting patterns of thinking depict that for the young generation, brands are no more a luxury; it is a necessity. ‘We are no doubt in the Great Age of the Brand’, Tom Peters rightly observed. Brands are no more a ‘status thing’, at least for most, but more of a ‘quality thing’ as investing in a good label guarantees durability and a certain feel of class.

Brands are created in Mind, not in Factories

“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind,”

said Walter Landor who had a special flair for creating brilliant designs with broad popular appeal, including Coca-Cola, General Electric, Japan Airlines, Levi Strauss, and Shell Oil. There is something about a powerful brand that is intrinsically fascinating for the consumer. The names of most celebrated brands like Ford, Apple, Rolex, Nike, Hershey’s, BMW, and Louis Vuitton are just not just some name. Brand name today evoke strong emotions and imagery around their products as each of these brands and the products they offer are driven by strong marketing engines.

In today’s fast-paced world, brands are fast taking form of a personality which is valuable, vital and vivacious equally at the same time.

“Like a person, you can respect, like and even love a brand. You can think of it as a deep personal friend, or merely an acquaintance. You can view it as dependable or undependable; principled or opportunistic; caring or capricious. Just as you like to be around certain people and not others, so also do you like to be with certain brands and not others”, as said by Robert Blanchard, former P&G executive.

Concluding Thoughts

  • Instead of going after big names and labels, go for your style. Find that style that suits you best.
  • Before going for designer shopping next time, ask yourself: would you really buy the product if it didn’t have that label attached to it?
  • If the celebrity styles and iconic brands really fascinate you, then think before you shop: will it really look good on you and is the product really worth spending those bucks?
  • Just be honest with yourself. At the end of the day, you’d want to be appreciated for your own style and thoughts, and not just the labelled attire.

Originally published in Doozy Read.

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