Brands and their relevance in your ecosystem

Are you brand conscious? I am not a brand freak and thus, I am branded as a boring person! Yesterday, one of my long-term friends visited our home. While conversing he took me to a different world of Brands.

It was fun indeed. He asked me to guess the price of his laptop bag. Since he asked, I stretched my quote to Rs.5000. (hey, I can’t think beyond this!). He laughed and said it is a bag from TUMI brand for Rs.45,000. (Ooops, I too have a laptop bag costing Rs.2000; not carrying in a Cement Bag!)

My ignorance ignited him to share more information. He removed his watch and asked the price. I said, Rs. 50,000. The same reaction, it is Rs.3,25,000 (I remembered Siddaramaiah’s watch episode)

Next, he said his waist belt is Rs.50,000 (Brand: Gucci). I felt crazy, the most expensive belt which I would have bought to date is Rs.1200 and so far, it has done its duty!

He also mentioned footwear costing Rs 30,000 Brand: Birkenstock (I was imagining visiting a temple wearing these shoes. Once I go inside the temple, I will have only one wish to be fulfilled; let no one steal my shoes!) Protecting the shoe from dog bites is going to be one of the main pastimes if I buy this!

When he was having a coffee in our 10-year-old steel cup, he said, Rs.8000 was paid to purchase a set of 4 cup-saucers, Brand Noritake.

Overall, it was a good session.

Will Brands have relevance in my ecosystem? I was thinking, what if I start using such products. My ecosystem consists of my friends, and relatives who are like me, middle class, or poor. None of them (me included), have any knowledge of TUMI, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Burberry, Rolex, Hermes, etc. Oh no! it is a total mismatch. Looking at the branded goods, they may just laugh aloud. For them, a bag is a bag. It won’t make any difference to any of them.

Will brands mean anything among elitists For a minute, I imagined elevating myself to an elite crowd. Everyone is brand conscious and all of them know these brands. If that is the scenario, what is so special? If I flash a TUMI of 45K, they will have a TUMI of 122K. It won’t make any difference there as well.

Practically, brands won’t many any difference among the middle-class/poor nor is it any special among elites. The grand SEASON 1, EPISODE 1 of ‘BrandTED Talk’ by my friend had no impact on my thought process and the way I live.

So, what is relevant? For me, I will buy the items which are required (no junk purchases), what fits me or suits me, or is as per my taste. If the items meet my needs, be they branded or unbranded, I don’t care. What others will talk, think, or gossip about won’t hurt me.

I don’t think any external brands can makeover one’s image! The people who know you, anyway know your worth. For those who don’t know you, how does it matter?

Are you also one like me? If so, join the Association of Great Indian No-brand Conscious people!

Good day.

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About B E Kumar Prasad

B E Kumar Prasad
He is a Practicing Chartered Accountant in Bengaluru, India. He has 25+ years of experience in income tax, business setup, and NRI matters. He is also an Insolvency Professional and Registered Valuer (F&SA).Prasad welcomes your comments and questions. Please email him at [email protected]

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Arati
Arati
3 months ago

a humorous approach to a very important ‘problem’ of the current generation. For a generation of plenty, how do you differentiate? Yes, brand is important …

N H Gopalakrishna Bhat
N H Gopalakrishna Bhat
3 months ago

Hi Kumar Prasad. A very good analysis and article . I enjoyed reading it . I had read long tome back about value of a product – use value, exchange value and esteem value. Probably we are all in the bracket of Use Value (about 80% importance)), Exchange Value (15%) and Esteem Value (5%) , Some people are considering only esteem value. and what is esteem value?. Somebody has to define it .

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