Branding: The Fake Factor
- Mar 18, 2009
Making a little research, an interesting question showed up: When is a brand really strong? When we think about that, it's really huge the number of possible answer we might get. The most intriguing one? When people start faking it.
Yeah, you may think this is stupid, but if you only think about it for one moment, you'll realize that only solid brands are copied in industrial scale. Adidas, Puma, McDonald's, Panasonic are among the brands that are so famous that people will even get absurd copies of their products.
Fake brands clearly supply a basic demand for low cost items that the consumer can associate with less affordable, scarce premier brands. However, psychologists have looked far more deeply into this area of consumer behaviour and a wealth of research has been published. A very basic finding is that despite the low price factor, fake brands are regularly bought by relatively high income households in developed countries. - Sarah Boumphrey
But looking through another perspective, what if a percentage of these people buy fake products as a kind of protest? It's pretty clever, but if a brand is expensive and represents a bad thing to a group of people, they just might buy it so that other people see they won't spend 100 bucks for a shirt, a purse, a shoe or whatever.
Once fake brands were sold from suitcases on high streets and back-street market stalls. Then trend-setter, gap-year teens and early twenty-somethings began returning home wearing their knock-off brands with pride. Now they are more pervasive, and are attracting buyers from across the consumer wealth spectrum. Are fake brands becoming chic and fun, and are luxury brands in danger of being undermined by a consumer trend towards ironic purchasing? - Sarah Boumphrey
And of course, here are some examples of what we get to see in the streets. Again, we'd love you to tell us what you think is the sign that a brand is really strong and solid. Cheers! ;)