I’m very black and white when it comes to buying things and doing personal shopping. I almost take it to the extreme: a £20 t-shirt should be twice as good as a £10 t-shirt with regards to build quality. If it is not twice as good I’m paying for the brand. The trouble with the brand is that it is only perceived value. Perceived value is not the same as actual value and in reality bares no relationship to build quality.
I had a girlfriend a while back who spent an awful lot of money on shoes, bags and clothes. It was a constant bone of contention that a Gucci hand bag that cost £500 cost that much because it was made from quality components. Whereas a similar looking bag made by an independent was cheaper because it was made with sub-standard materials. “You’re paying for the quality” she kept saying. Amazing, such is the power of marketing!
While there may be other things that effect the price, such as after sales support, the majority of the cost comes from the perception that if it is expensive then only a select few will be able to afford them and so with that comes exclusivity. There is no way that a pair of Emporio Armani jeans are 5 times as good as a pair of Levi jeans even though their price tag is five times more. So what am I paying for? It costs a lot of money to advertise in exclusive magazines and even more to advertise on television. I expect it costs quite a bit to push their wears on celebrities and sponsorship. But none of these expenses have anything to do with the actual product. I don’t expect these companies are pouring money into R & D to design the latest bags; market research isn’t that expensive and because it’s fashion, what ever they say the latest fashion is - then that’s what it is. So no money spent there either.
Maybe I’m taking a simplistic view on this, but is that just it. Is everyone being duped in to paying twice the price for nothing?
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