Individuality

The myth that brands need you to believe and something they might prefer you to forget.

2015-08-20 20.41.09-2A marketing ploys used by major brands is to suggest that by purchasing their product(s), you are showing your individuality. They want you to believe that by buying their brand, you are not just one of the crowd; not just a sheep blindly following everyone else but that is exactly what you are doing.

If you believe what brand advertisements want you to, your not just ‘one of their crowd’ you are gullible too, because you do not see that you are just part of a crowd, albeit a distinct crowd. Even being in distinct crowd does not demonstrate individualism, perhaps it might be described as tribalism.

Even manufacturer customisation of a product does not make the buyer more individualistic. He has simply bought an option offered by the designer/maker, an option that anyone else can buy too, so it is not individual.

It is possible to be an individual and still buy a branded product, if you evaluate it in relation to other products that fulfil the same function or need. If you just buy it because of the brand, the advertising or the crowd that like it, you’re just another ‘sheep’.

It is worth remembering that a brand was originally an identifying mark, burned onto an animal, by its owner to identify it as his as distinct from anyone else’s, it was not to make it different from any other member of his heard. The owner of the brand was individual, its wearer was just another anonymous animal in the heard or flock of livestock.

In relation to today’s ‘brands’ that is not too far from the truth. The ‘brands’ owners want you as part of their heard, controlled and corralled. Of course they employ different means of shepherding you in the right direction, with their clever advertising but essentially, they try to steer you in the ‘right’ direction just like a flock of sheep.

Do you still think you’re showing your individuality by buying branded products? In the case of fashion clothing, buying a brand, such as Nike, Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, Conran, Gucci or any one of tens, hundreds of others, could almost be equated to wearing a uniform. Whose uniform are you wearing today?

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