Brand Dilution

by Sally Applin

A few posts ago, I wrote about “Inconspicuous Consumption” — the idea that people will still consume, if they have the cash, but will try to be stealthy about it and not show off labels and brands.

I think that the next trend regarding consumer goods is “Brand Dilution.”  With the economic situation the way it is, all kinds of luxury goods have been going on sale at rock bottom prices. We’re talking 70% at Saks Fifth Avenue.  The New York Times wrote an article this week describing the sales in detail. When these branded “luxury” goods go on this deep of a discount, do they lose their brand appeal and cachet?

In my opinion, some of the goods, like those made by Prada, have diminished in quality in recent years. Oh their runway couture is pretty well made, but the bags are really just a way to make money off the brand. The bags at 70% off, are finally being sold at their real value.

But the difference with these current sales is that both poorly made “branded” goods and actually well made “luxury” goods are all on the sale block.

If one pays less for something branded as a “luxury” good and it goes on super sale, does the brand still have status?

Trend: For ultimate status, we’re going to be looking beyond the ability to select and purchase from a high end “brand.” Those days are over. Maybe education will become the new status.

©2008-2014 Sally A. Applin. All rights reserved.

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