Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Concerning Brands

Today I want to share some common sense with you. Maybe you are going to read this article, nod, and wonder why on earth I had to write down something so obvious. In that case, I'm sorry for wasting your time, because you already have what it takes to be a fabulous budget hedonist! :)
Maybe not though. Find out!

I have been marveling at the concept of brands for a long time. Just because, say, a pair of jeans has a certain name printed on the inside (!) it's more expensive. The only claim the company makes to justify the price is the qualities described in the respective commercials - and more often than not it's a "lifestyle" rather than actual characteristics of a product, for example the sturdiness of you new jeans or the taste of the joghurt you are supposed to buy at the supermarket.
My favourite example for this phenomenon is perfume ads. Watch any old perfume ad on youtube, and afterwards you'll know exactly what kind of style the brand's art director wants you to live - but do you know what the perfume actually smells like? Even have an idea? Nope. Usually not.
So let's first of all try to ignore the suggestions of commercials. Do you really and honestly care if celebrities show their faces in combination with some sort of product? Does it improve the product? No.
I claim that consciously ignoring ads when going shopping makes you happier. It takes away the pressure. The other day I went out to buy a pair of grey skinny jeans, and I could've gotten those for 150€ I'd seen on that ad, that had a fancy brand name on it. I went for the cheaper ones, and now have exactly the jeans I wanted for 20 bucks, without the brand name. What is a brand name good for, anyways? Impress your friends?! If they can be impressed by the money you spend on things, think again if they are really good friends and therefore people you WANT to impress.

However, I'm not against spending money (and lots of it) in general. Sometimes you see something in a shop window that you need to have this second or else you won't be happy for the rest of the week. That's ok. Or you really want to order the most expensive dish they serve at the restaurant. That's ok, too. Just make sure to listen to what YOU really want, not anybody else.
Trust you own taste, that's as simple as it is.
And if you really want something and it's not ridiculously overpriced, go for it.

Just like I really, really wanted to have this fun and colourful beverage instead of the bland table water when I went to the café yesterday. It was more expensive, but it made me happy that moment.

Figure out what you spend your money on. How much do you care for the brands you buy? Does it matter what company puts their name on your baked beans? No. Does it matter to you to get a certain brand of joghurt? Yes, because your mom always bought that kind? Then get it. Otherweise go for the no-name version and you'll find out it's probably just as tasty :)
Finding out your own priorities takes a while, but is well worth it.

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