Answer the following questions as honestly as you can, with just a simple YES or NO.
- When you buy sunglasses, do you make sure the designer label is emblazoned on the side and visible to all?
- You profess not to have heard of Marks and Spencers and Debenhams. Don’t they only sell groceries? Doesn’t everybody shop at Harvey Nichols or Galeries Lafayette?
- You make sure the label of your designer underwear (chaddies) under your low-slung jeans is visible to all.
- You can make out at a distance of 500 metres if someone is wearing a Rolex or a Brugeut or a Patek Philippe.
If you’ve answered YES to any two of the above, you are in danger of being labelled a brandaholic. You must have guessed by now that a brandaholic is someone crazy about brands.
Now, there is nothing really wrong in buying brands. It’s entirely your business. If you move in those charmed circles where everyone sports the latest, and you’re none the poorer for flinging a couple thousand $$$ into buying a luxury item, that’s entirely up to you. Or perhaps you’re one of those who saves for months together just to get that Louis Vuitton handbag or those Jimmy Choos. Well, that’s a perfectly normal and respectable thing to do.
However, if you only dream of brands, eat, drink and sleep brands, spend three months’ of your salary and all your savings into buying that latest luxury gizmo… well, you’re in danger of becoming a brandaloon (loony about brands) and you’d better check in to the nearest therapist’s. Friend, beware, as you’re going down the path of emotional destruction and economic ruin.
Worse still, if you judge people by the brands they wear (or don’t wear), if you don’t want to make friends with someone who is “cheap and cheerful”, or just sensible and wholesome, well, your value system is skewed. You’re assessing people by their externals and perhaps not seeing their inner worth. You may then come in for a rude shock.
According to ‘Psychology Today’, marketers spend thousands of dollars on advertising because they know we are wired for the joys of anticipation. A big dollop of dopamine, the pleasure-enhancing chemical, is released in our brain, merely anticipating the product. So advertisers are sometimes guilty of fuelling our brand-obsession. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/unconscious-branding/201709/how-brands-addict-us)
Now, before someone reading this in cyber-space is gritting their teeth in anger because they happen to be working in the luxury segment or in advertising, let me qualify my statement by saying there is no harm in buying or coveting luxury brands. These items have been made to the highest quality, and have been tested and retested so that they pass the test of fire, so to speak. Their high prices are there for a reason (although a great deal of it also has to do with status). Besides, don’t we all love flicking through glossies and watching those young things sway down the catwalk wearing something outrageous and unaffordable?
So do go ahead and indulge in your obsession, but keep your limits in mind.
Now, I’m ending this blog with a quiz. How many of these brand icons can you name? Until next time, happy branding!