A spellbound or a trusting consuming source?
Years ago, during my teenage obsession with brand clothing, I denied to wear anything that was not marked with the green crocodile, the fruits of the loom or the liberated skin color-free society of Bennetton. My always down-to-earth dad, who did not approve of that fixation, played a little trick on me. He urged me once to come down to the street and watch a young beggar passing by the street and wearing the same branded t-shirt I was wearing and was so much proud of. I never had that t-shirt on again even though I missed to see the beggar and never found out whether or not my father had an agenda.
My argument is, if we would like to approach the branding effect from the consumer's point of view, we will notice that we consumers had always have gone to extra lengths to make a clear statement of our value, social status and image. Our psychological urges to belong to the winning team and be a part of a successful story have been used brightly by manufacturers and even, in some extreme cases, been exploited. The more we perceive of what we use as glamorous, dependable, recognizable, the more we buy it and stick with it. In many cases and mostly during fair financial times, price has even played a determined role to boost the image of the products we consume. The more expensive they are, the better.
Few years ago, the food, fashion, beauty, pharma, technology, or even the media industry, used to spend a more significant amount of money, effort and time to pitch their products. Today, marketing has become more speedy, accessible and easy, though for a company to brand a new product, being updated and in parallel with the volatile economic and social swings is more essential than ever before. Consumers' life evolves and as a result, branding evolves.
Manufacturing companies place now an extra heaviness on the poignant effects of pitching their marketing, and that effort, assuming it is successful, is called branding. Key words and appealing-to the shifting social trends phrases are often used, in order to have a maximum psychological effect on the consumer.
Back to us consumers, to be honest, we don't really buy a product, any product for what it is, but for the idea behind it and the life style is supporting. The good news is, that not many consumers think and sound like my dad, for otherwise branding would not turned to be such a sweet cup of tea for any industry.