I had a conversation with this she-friend young lady when we went to a shopping center. We were roaming around that time in a shop with branded stuff. I was checking the shoes as well as the tag prices when she asked me.
She: Why don't you buy one for yourself?
Me: Naah, they're expensive. I can buy more stuff with that amount.
She: You buy la..(Cantonese tone)
Me: I Am contented with what I have right now and if I will buy one, it would be for my parents.
Same story when she found out that my phone got broken for the fifth time. Yes! I accidentally dropped it more than five times 😅 and fixed the LCD five times. The effect of readcashing while working, walking, marketing, shopping, etc 🤣. She asked me again.
She: Why don't you buy a new one? I feel pity for your phone.
Me: I want to, but not now. My phone is still fine and I don't want to abandon this because of many important intangible things inside. (I was referring to readcash and my digital wallets 🤣)
I am not a materialistic person. For as long as my things are still functional or usable, I won't gonna replace it just because it is torn, broken, or with scratches, and if it is fixable, then I will gonna fix it. The amount I used in fixing my phone is even enough to buy a new cheaper phone, but I just don't want to abandon it for many reasons. Additionally, my collections of photographs are there too.
And one day, this young lady needed a dress for their party. We went to shopping centers to look for dresses, and I noticed that her mother likes going to shops with branded clothes only. I then asked the girl.
Me: Why don't you go to boutiques, there are many pretty dresses there and quite cheaper, you'll gonna use it once anyway.
She: I don't know with my mom, she doesn't want her friends to see me wearing a low branded dress.
Me: That is hilarious. They won't gonna see the brand anyway because it is hidden.
She: Exactly. But it is always her decision.
Me: You know why those clothes are expensive? It's not only because of the quality but also because of the name. Some stuff is expensive but doesn't even have that great quality. It is because of the name attached to it. And another reason is that, the location of the shop. If the rent is expensive, then the products have higher prices compared to their other shops.
That is how our conversation goes, and with that, I suddenly thought with this question:
Why many people like buying and collecting branded merchandise?
Some people buy branded merchandise because they are capable to do so. It's like wearing branded things tells others where we are on the economic scale, a certain rung on the socioeconomic ladder. Those who are wearing limited-edition and branded merchandise means they are in a higher class or a job with a high salary, while those who are wearing RTW clothes are in a lower class.
Of course, I belong to the lower class. In my entire life, I never bought branded clothes, shoes, or bags. Oh, I did buy pants worth P1,000+ ($20+) before from the money my father gave me as a Christmas present. And during that time, I really want to buy something quite expensive for myself, but I don't want to spend my money on expensive stuff. And that is the only thing I have that worth a thousand, the rest are cheaper ones, except for my phone, luggages and my gold jewelries are my other form of investment.
To Fit Into Society
Another reason why some people like buying branded merchandise is because they want to fit into society and feel that they belong to the group. But we don't actually need to own branded merchandise just to fit into their so-called society, because we belong to our own kind of society.
Go with the flow
And nowadays, some people like following what's on-trend. They will gonna buy this and that, just because it is what society is using. They feel like wearing similar and familiar brands help them relate to others in the group. And some people believe that the brands will contribute to greater social acceptance especially in fashion. They like buying branded clothes that are perceived as trendy, fashionable, or high class, or that they fit into a certain peer group.
But in some cases, they will gonna wear branded merchandise just to flaunt it to others especially to their friends. Just like the mother of this young lady. She always likes buying branded stuff because she likes to flaunt it to her friends. She always likes to outshone them in all possible ways.
Sense of Pride of Ownership
Another reason why people like buying branded merchandise is because of the sense of pride of ownership. Those are the people who always want to own beautiful and well-crafted things, and with high quality just like the branded merchandise. That feeling when they slip that stainless steel and gold watch over their hand, and they appreciate that sound when it snaps like art. That feeling when they hop out from their shiny Mercedes and when people look at them gives them the sense that they are rich and famous. And the sounds of the car door when they shut it gives them the sense that they have purchased a well-made machine.
Fanaticism and Loyalty to the Brands
Some people will buy branded merchandise because of fanaticism and loyalty to the brands. Just like those car lovers who have a strong affinity for Mercedes or Chevrolet. Or those fashionistas who love wearing Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce, and Gabbana. They developed that emotional attachment to the brands.
Sense of Accomplishment
And another acceptable reason is some people like buying branded merchandise to reward themselves for their hard work. There is nothing wrong with buying something good for ourselves using the fruit of our labor. It gives us a sense of happiness when we own something that we could typically afford to buy. Those things serve us remembrance or gift for ourselves for being hardworking.
If you will ask me, why I don't like buying branded things even if I am capable to do so?
Because I am not materialistic and I am a practical person. Every time I choose a product to buy, I always consider other things that are needed to be prioritized rather than buying an expensive one. Once I saw a P2000 tag price, I always consider other important things such as water and electric bills, or the tuition fees of my siblings. Or sometimes I will tell myself, "with this P2000, I can already buy one pair of pants, one bag, one shirt, and treat myself in my favorite restaurant." That is how I think.
I do have some branded things but it can only be counted with my fingers. Just like I've mentioned above, I sometimes reward myself with something I can typically afford to buy. But most of the times, I reward myself with foods not things.
I really don't understand why there are people who want to fit into higher class society even if they only belong to the lower class. They will gonna save money just to buy a branded one even if they have debts to be paid, and the worst, some will gonna borrow money just to buy branded things they want.
Many people who buy branded merchandise are not actually in a financial position to be able to afford branded merchandise, because they do not act rationally, or in a way that is in their best financial interest, and that causes a financial burden.
(Me wearing $10 worth of clothes 🤣)
Just being decent and presentable is enough to fit into society. Brands are not actually what matters, it's just how you carry the clothes and how you act in a society. No matter how beautiful and expensive you are wearing if your attitude is rusty, everything becomes so ugly.
Thanks for reading @Jane