Saturday, May 14, 2011

On Branding

People don’t realize how important branding is. A recent economist article titled ‘Clothes May Make the Man, but it is the Label that Really Counts’ written on the subject had this to say: “A new piece of research confirms what many, not least in the marketing department of fashion houses, will long have suspected: that it is not the design itself that counts, but the label… such clothes do bring the benefits promised: co-operation from others, job recommendations and even the ability to collect more money when soliciting for charity. But they work only when the origin of the clothes in question is obvious.”

Apart from perception, branding serves a very specific purpose, it creates trust, because you have no idea just how crappy a garment can be at first look. Clothing quality can vary widely, with many defects not being readily apparent. While the durability of fabric is easy to feel, the quality of zippers, buttons and stitching is more difficult to determine. If it is high quality it can last for years. If not it may break after a week or two. Branding is important because it provides some insight about the quality you can expect.

Living in the developing world where brands are not as prevalent or policed as in the developed world you realize this lesson very quickly. Cheep clothes, made in china and bought at souk do not last. Moreover brand tags are often fakes, added onto inferior products to lure the unsuspecting. It may be the case that nowadays brands more often serve to stratify societies into haves and have-mores. Still it is nice to know that they did originally have a very useful purpose. Without them one must live by the old adage: Buyer Beware!  

No comments:

Post a Comment