Brand Oversaturation

(Giorgio Armani Cafe. I didn’t know M. Armani knew all about coffee and croissants!) Istanbul, Turkey

Brand saturation: When The Going Gets Greedy; how much is too much? Opinion, open to comments and suggestions and opinions! 🙂

Brand saturation. We all know it, even if we don’t realize it. This can also fall under “excessive licensing” to those who are more industry savvy. It’s a topic I find fascinating, and will be doing several posts in regards to it.

You know it. Most people think that Ralph Lauren dreamed up the exact combo of lilies and roses to make his perfume, or that he is just a jack of all trades and knows how to make a watch move. And now look, he has bed linens and plates and picnic baskets! You can go from the cradle to the grave, all day long, using Ralph Lauren.

Not so fast. It’s all licensed. It amazes me, when I bring this up to people in casual conversation, either they’re showing off their new bracelet or admiring the Dior mascara, and I remark about the profits of licensing. Really? He doesn’t design these flip flops? Sorry to burst your bubble about him being your dream guy (designer). I guess my FIT education did me some good after all.

It’s a win win. I do the work, but I get to borrow your name. You don’t do the work, but take less profit and trust me with your name. I personally feel the brand gets the better bargain, but hey, then again, the designer worked their butt off to be in the position where people would PAY them to slap John Smith on their OWN design, so I guess it all is good.

Many designers of course thus take advantage of brand licensing, but isn’t there too much of a good thing? Yes, you might get excited that your favourite designer is now making sunglasses or something of that elk that you can actually afford without surviving on stale saltines for a month, but then all of a sudden, you’re seeing his products everywhere. And I mean everywhere. People of all. It’s nice when everyone can maybe afford a taste of a designer, or is it? Personally it leaves me with a bit of a rotten taste…if everyone can have it, if it’s that accessible, why do I want it?

It’s not that you don’t want people to be able to afford things. Some people save and save to buy a designer bag that they’ve coveted for years. It harkens back to being a child on the playground. You were the first one to have red sparkly Dorothy shoes, and everyone admired them. You ruled the sandbox. But soon word of where your mom got them got out, and then there were a million little Dorothys running amok. You grew bored, and looked for the pink power ranger hi-tops as your next fave thing.

This mentality has not changed much, although instead of Payless Dorothy shoes it might be Valentino, with a 5 inch taller heel. If everyone has an item, you don’t feel unique, and in this day and age, people want to stand out, make a statement, not blend in like sheep. Sometimes you can’t help but to look similar- for example, an outfit of skinny jeans and black booties and a slouchy sweater- but you certainly don’t want to spend top dollar and the exact bag that everyone and their grandmother is carrying.

You start to question, a designer who became famous for perfect fitting blue jeans, do they REALLY know about cups and bowls? About bicycles? About stationary and pens? They start to lose your trust, as you question this superhuman ability. You see the name EVERYWHERE. It’s like your favourite record or CD- eventually you get tired of hearing “hit me baby one more time”, no matter how much you loved it.

Often, the brand loses sight of their original mission, their 20/20 vision becoming as blurred as a 92 year olds. They lose focus on what made them famous. Weren’t they all about the fit of flares, not health food!? So you’ll move on, to greener, un-mowed pastures, forgetting all about your once beloved, coveted item.

Or, you just go to www.etsy.com/shop/japonicanyc to buy unique, vintage porcelain tableware that I can’t find anywhere else!

 

Next up: branding in the sense of basic; to wear it or not to wear it (because everyone else is) how to determine

 

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10 Reasons You Shop Online

(When waiting online, you sometimes feel like the lion, but mostly feel like the seal) Sagg Town Coffee, Sag Harbor, New York

These may seem obvious, but gone are the days where you will wait online behind an old man counting out his dimes while you count the minutes that your boss is going to spend screaming at you for being late again, despite the fact that said line is for the brand of coffee he insists of having in the office (and having the employees pay for).

  1. There’s no people. Who knew you were such a hermit? Sitting the in the confines of your house/car/cubicle, you are blissfully separated from the haggling moms and their perpetually runny nosed kids.
  2. You can do it wherever, whenever-kinda like the Shakira song. Without all the belly dancing and stuff, although you did always think that looked pretty cool….
  3. There’s no salespeople. No “Oh my god, red is so your colour!” When red in fact washes you out and somehow clashes horribly with blonde hair/blue eyes. What does she wearing the blue eyeshadow know anyways?
  4. You can actually think, no peer pressure. For some reason, and you know you’ve been there, I always feel pressured to buy something, even if it is a pair of trendy overalls that make me look more like a roly-poly Minion then a model.
  5. You can get deep discounts. Forget the 80% off signs they place every two feet in the stores. They sold out of your size two months ago. Online is where the real bargains pile up- literally; you missed a potential job interview because ‘We Want You!’ Was the slogan of a million other junk brand emails trying to get you through the door.
  6. No dealing with shopping bags and a commute/ or traffic. You haven’t lived yet until you’re wearing a fur coat on an unexpected 60-degree day while trying to hoist an extra large printer over the tourists heads and cursing the fact that a one-train ride became a three-train (damn Weekender service). For those lucky enough to drive, do I even need to touch on the traffic?
  7. More options. In the store they have two colours, online they have twenty. Who wants brown or orange anyways? Don’t they know that in New York you wear black, off black, and jet black?
  8. Can actually make educated decisions; price comparisons. Unless you are the Queen of England and have all of the time in the world (actually, she probably has quite the social schedule for an older lady, more so then you- when was the last time you had girls brunch!? Yeaaaah), you don’t have time to go to each store and then muse over which deal was best. Online, all of that comparison is a click and pane switch away.
  9. You can take care of your dogs/cats/babies/spouse. Because strapping a screaming child into a car seat, or trying to convince your daschund that the mannequin in the hideous pizza print dress is not going to eat him, can get strenuous. At home, you can shop more efficiently, although you’ll still have to shove your (overweight) cat off your keyboard. Why they insist on perching themselves on top of the most uncomfortable places, you have no idea.
  10. You can multitask. Time efficiency! Eat pita chips, drink a bottle of merlot, watch re-runs of Law & Order SVU, chat to your friend about next new years plans (it’s March)…whatever it is that you have on that laundry list to do, you can do so and still navigate the world wide web to make your purchases. Who can say no?

Visit www.etsy.com/shops/japonicanyc to shop online for vintage porcelain and other gifts to your hearts content!