Don’t your eyes twinkle when you see those flat 50% sale offers on big show rooms. Big brands do appeal us, don’t they? So basically what does a ‘brand’ signify. Brand mean class, and class means standard. Thus purchasing from branded showrooms reflects what one’s standard is. No matter, how similar two people are they might have different choices when it comes to purchasing and marketing professionals know this very well. Also, quality of products is another reason why we always run after brands. However most often we move around with our pre conceived notions about these branded products.
Every single human commodity ranging from a pen to a car, has its brand value which is advertised in the market. Do you ever think twice before buying something from such branded showrooms? Of course, you don’t. Assuming that it has a brand name, it has to be perfect, whereas if the same stuff is put in some street side local shop, you will find a thousand flaws in it and ultimately you’ll bargain upto a level which you find appropriate. But one should not blindly trust everything which comes under a brand name. A good buyer will judge several things before purchasing it. Here is a list of ten things that you should check before buying branded products.
10. DON’T BE SWAYED BY THE ADVERTISEMENTS
In this era of technology let us talk about a broader concept of advertising. The current trend of advertising is the web advertising. All of us use internet for a variety of purpose, and in the mean time our eyes catch glimpse of those flashy advertisements appearing on either side of those web pages. Advertising agencies can make a deep impact on the consumer behavior and they know this very well. Hence they make every possible measure to attract customers and make them fall in a trap. What do sites like amazon, junglee and flipkart basically do? They advertise all these branded products and hence this whole new concept of ‘online shopping’ has come up which makes us feel how convenient life is. But instead it’s just a smarter way to make more money. Companies often hire celebrities to endorse their products and make it more appealing. Thus one should not always be swayed by advertisements while buying branded stuff.
9. PRICE SHOULD MATCH WITH THE PRODUCT LEVEL
You obviously need to pay a heavy price if you want something from a branded showroom to your bedroom. A friend of mine paid 3000 bucks for a pair of pink shoes from ‘Puma’ but later on she regretted the fact that 3000 was too much for those shoes. Though the shoes were pretty good, but she thought she could have bought it at a relatively lower price from some other showroom. So a smart buyer is not the one who spends money to buy things of his/her choice but somebody who knows what to buy and for how many bucks. This indicates the fact that only if you know how much to spend, you’ll have less chances of being befooled.
8. SHOULD MATCH UP WITH THE TREND AND TECHNOLOGY
To be fashionable and trendy is something each one of us want to be, when it comes to style statement and this includes everything from head to toe. Be it the phone you are using or the wallet you are carrying, everything should be in match with the current trend. Touch screen phones when introduced were so popular in the market. But gradually the trend faded away and today we have a craze for better android versions and iphone5. Demand is proportional to change in trend and price of commodities fluctuates accordingly. If you once bought a touch screen phone for 5000 bucks then today you might get an android phone of the same price. So if you are out for shopping, make sure that you don’t plunge into something which is no longer a trend.
7. DISPOSAL OF THE PRODUCTS
There was an era of purchasing and selling where disposal of products hardly mattered. But now the time is changed. How products are disposed is becoming very important both for the consumers and the society. Use of eco-friendly and recycleable product package is high in demand. Companies are becoming more aware of the fact that they are not supposed to degrade the environment and its quality at any cost. Thus buyers today have developed a new perspective when it comes to buying branded products. For instance, let us take a very common example of paper bags which is gradually reducing the usage of polythenes and plastic. That’s how the concept of consumer behavior changes where disposal is an important factor.
6. IS IT WORTH BUYING ?
Let’s begin with a small example. Suppose you are a rock music fan and you see a t-shirt with a picture of Kurt Kobain on the front and buy it on the spot simply because you want it. Purchasing a product with no planning or forethought is called ‘impulse buying’. So don’t let your impulse rule you. Now with impulse comes up a concept called ‘level of involvement’, on the basis of which goods are classified into low and high involvement products. Products like the one we mentioned above is a low involvement product whereas commodities like car, house or an insurance policy are high involvement products which we don’t buy again and again. Hence we must be aware of the post purchase consequences and only if it is worth buying we should go ahead.
5. BE A ‘SMART’ CHOICE MAKER
We know that there are number of brands in the market which sell a variety of products. A smart choice maker is one who knows where to hunt and for what. For e.g. buying shoes from pantaloons makes no sense when you know that they sell good clothes. In short, no matter how much you like the stuff, you must purchase what a brand is actually famous for. Also you should make a product evaluation before you buy it. Knowledge and information about goods enhance your purchasing skills ,therby making you a smart shopper. Consumers go through distinct phases when buying products and this is one of them.
4. BRANDS ARE NOTHING BUT AN AGENDA FOR PROFIT MAXIMISATION
Now coming to the end fact, the prime motive behind all this marketing and advertising is profit maximization. Consumers are just a medium for them. So now the point is, how is this relevant to our topic ? Basically all these big retail showrooms like Big Bazaar make huge profits and most often they are beneficial for the consumers as well. Now how does our local market benefit ? We have started encouraging these globalization mediums to such an extent that we end up neglecting the common people. So what can we as customers do? We can purchase stuffs like vegetable and grocery from small shops rather than going to Spencer or Big Bazaar. This will emphasize on the local market and help in income generation at the lower level.
3. BEWARE OF DUPLICACY
Fake brand outlets selling duplicate products is something one should be actually beware of. Related incidents have come in the limelight. Such kind of people also have a market strategy of selling all its stuff under the brand name and fooling customers. Now the point is, how to be aware of such things? What these duplicate stores basically do is mess with the name. For e.g. Allen Solly becomes Allen ‘Soly’, Reebok becomes ‘Rebok’ and Jockey becomes ‘Jokey’. So these are the things as a consumer we should keep in mind. Make sure you are not at the wrong place to drain your money.
2. QUALITY MATTERS
The name of a brand itself holds so much of power. Whether it is adidas, reebok or pantaloons, these are all big brands which have both name and fame in the market and the reason behind more than 50% share of their profit is their brand name. The reason why you envy somebody wearing a woodland shoe is simply because it’s ‘Woodland’. The fact that they make good shoes is something which comes after that. The concept of the brand name overpowering its quality is a wrong thing which one should be aware of. Quality of a product should be the prime concern of the customer no matter how big brand it is. They promise to give quality products but that does not mean you can blindly trust them. There are several other things you must be aware of. For e.g. the durability, how long is it going to last ? Be it clothes, shoes or whatever else , just make sure that its quality speaks and you do not end up buying something “not so good” kind of commodity.
1.YOU NEED RECOGNITION
The major factor why we buy branded stuff is; we want to maintain a certain standard of ourselves. Market researchers believe people buy products to enhance how they feel about themselves. If the stuff we buy is not recognized then it’s of no use. We must assure that whatever we purchase is designed in a special way that it makes an out of the box kind of image and does not look like some street shopping kind of thing. Street shopping has its own good and bad sides but when we are spending over something called a ‘Brand’ then we must make sure that its value is identified !!
Now coming to the basic fact which you should ‘must’ check before buying a branded product is ‘money in your wallet’. Sounds amusing but true !! Buying a branded stuff is nothing but an exhibition of materialistic things in life. What actually matters is what kind of brand you make of yourself. If you are sensible and smart enough to deal with marketing strategies and consumer behavior then you will end up purchasing quality products. How you interpret the virtual and real world and make sense of it in your brain is also a fundamental factor in determining the way of life you want to lead. Is brand such an important factor? Well , think about it and also remember this check list next time you step into a branded store.