Here’s an interesting article on the the current trend of free advertising that brand name clothes are. I wonder if I can dig up the excellent article from the Sunday Times about this. Must look later.
Brands are nothing more than “stories attached to objects,” says James Twitchell, a professor of English at the University of Florida who has written widely about branding as a cultural phenomenon. “Sometimes we just go through periods where we’ve heard the story too much,” he says. “Or we’re hearing the story being told by too many people.”
Now, everyone with a Burberry handbag should repeat after me, “We are induvidhuals! We have a distinct style and taste in clothes! Baah! Baah!”
More to be found on nologo.org.
2 thoughts on “Why the lure of logos wears thin”
I remember Iain Banks talking about this in The Wasp Factory. The main character would cut all the labels off his shoes and clothes because he didn’t much feel like being a walking billboard.
I have a similar attitude, but it extends to not buying anything with higly visible labels, although I am inclined to sport band/record label names on my t-shirts and my boots feature a label in the traditional place (Vegetarian Shoes 🙂 ) – albeit hidden.
The label mania is one I’ve generally only seen followed by those with low analytical skills (guy with wispy ‘tache and Nike ear ring springs to mind for some reason – a member of the herd…), or people who (often mistakenly) associate these brands with quality.
I can’t see either of these two particularly widespread groups going away any time soon…
“I can’t imagine that ‘tribal symbols’ as reproduced on apparel – where you are wearing your symbol on your sleeve – will ever go away,” Mr. Atkin says.
In theory, that is what a brand LOGO is. A tribe symbol. The article also points out that sports brands (read teams) are doing well.
A brand SHOULD have some aspirational aspect to it. Most sports brands (in theory) have the wearer aspire to be a sports star. Most team shirts are for the wearer to aspire to aspire for a win. Most lables apsire wealth on the wearer.
There is also the “tribe” aspect that seems to have been missed. When you see a gang of tracksuit clad teenagers, or black clad teenagers in Paul Street cast your mind back to the other tribes in 20th centure history. Mods, skinheads, punk (sorry fuzzbucket), “jets”, hen-party costumes and team shirts. It’s about standing out and fitting in at the same time.
That ‘fleeting’ team can make and destroy a brand. Then again, which is the berret brand in your eyes? Nike or Kurt?