1) Wearing branded merchandise sets us in a specific economic category, a certain rung on the socioeconomic ladder. It tells others where we are on the economic scale. There is a certain pecking order in society and wearing branded merchandise tells those with whom we come in contact that we are in a lower group, the same group or a higher socioeconomic group than they are, depending upon the prestige and price point of the items worn.
2) It allows us to feel as though we fit into society and belong to the group. Humans aren’t solitary animals any more than monkeys are. Wearing similar and familiar brands helps us to relate to others in the group and feel a part of something larger than ourselves. This is why companies put their logos, such as the leaf and drop logo from Melaleuca.com, on clothing, accessories, and other merchandise.
3) There is, of course, the sense of pride of ownership. Everyone wants to own beautiful and well-made things, and branded merchandise tends to be of high quality. There is a sense of pride when you walk up to the three-pronged hood ornament that decorates your shiny Mercedes. Each time you shut the car door and hear that classic “thud” it gives you the sense that you have purchased a well-made machine. Every morning when you get up and slip that stainless steel and gold watch over your hand and hear it snap solidly onto your wrist, you take a moment just to appreciate its art.
4) Branding takes the thinking out of a purchase. When a man goes shopping for his wife and he knows she likes a certain brand, he doesn’t have to think any further than the brand name. Anything that has that particular name on it will please his wife. Our society has turned over thinking to the few designers who rule our fashion world. Individuals no longer think about what is good design or bad; if it has some well-advertised name on it, it must be good. It’s gotten to a point that we now wear sweaters with names across the front and no design at all.