So what’s in a brand? How important are labels in our daily life? Why are we ready to spend a lot (sometimes an insane) amount of money just for that Polo t-shirt or a Tommy Hilfiger shirt? A Tissot watch or a pair of Hush Puppies? And ofcourse Mont Blanc writing instruments!
Many people believe that labels should not run our lives. I did too for a while but personally I am fond of them so I never ran from them. Embraced it as when I felt was needed. Now that brings me to the real reason behind this post.
Do we need labels? Do we need a wear brands to represent us? Do we really need that tiny logo on your shirt or trouser sometimes? Is it just merely showing off or is it sometimes a necessity?
Purists will say we are what we are and that we don’t need a brand or label to represent us. We should just be ourselves and everything else will take care of itself. I personally don’t believe in that.
I think sometimes it is necessary to carry a particular brand. It gives out a statement. Tells the world who you are. But again, that logic just defines how you think of yourself. What about what everyone thinks of you?
I work for a one of the largest IT company on the planet. And one of the perks of working for a big IT giant is that you get a chance to meet tons of people across the board. Three weeks back I was in Johannesburg for some meetings. Btw, the idea behind this post came to me then. Anyways, so like all meetings, we came, we met and we left. There were about 25-30 of us in a large round-table conference room. And you will not believe it but each and everyone in that room was dressed up wearing, you guessed it, some kind of label. Either it was Gant, CK, Polo, TH, Nautica, Levis etc.
It got me thinking. If I noticed it, and if everyone in the room was wearing it, then everyone was noticing that about everyone else. And that’s when I struck me, sometimes, we almost need to wear a luxury or a premium brand just to be part of the crowd. To fit in. To be one of them. Unknowing and sometimes, unwantedly, we get sucked into it.
Lucky for me, I am conscious of what I wear always. So I was well dressed and flaunting my labels as well. But that’s because I like it that way. I love to wear good clothes. Yes, it makes me feel good. But wearing it to please a crowd? No, I don’t think so. But I could almost feel the pressure. What if I was not brand conscious? Would I have made the kind of impact I wanted to make? Because every time I was face to face with someone, invariably, he/she quickly stole a glance to see what logo was that on the top left side of my shirt. And I noticed it every time it happened. And I did the same thing. It was almost funny. Like a confirmation that we belonged there.
And not just meeting rooms or conferences, but also at the normal work place. It’s brands, brands and more brands. I fail to understand how does someone who isn’t that conscious react to all this? And, ofcourse, the whole angle of purchasing power comes in as well. What if he/she just can’t afford it? What happens then?
I personally have seen the best of both the worlds. And I know what difference it makes. My final opinion is that if you don’t flaunt it, maybe you don’t loose anything. Maybe you do. But if you do flaunt it, you gain more.