‘Tis the season to shop, apparently. We cannot deny that Americans will spend hundreds, if not thousands, on their holiday, end-of-year shopping and some families may even go into debt to do so.
Large parent companies and key players in luxury conglomerates have outlets all over the world. Whether in New York or in England, outlet malls are world-renowned and can serve as a tourist attraction.
So, how is it that these high end beauty and lifestyle brands have a loyal following that is willing to shop at retail prices at their boutiques, counters or any vendor when the same goods, and often the newest collections, have already been discounted at the outlets?
The answer: Brand positioning.
Brand positioning is the fun marketing term that roughly translates to the image that makes a company goods and services aspirational and something to buy into. When you are buying a luxury accessory or a high quality piece of ready-to-wear, you are (hopefully) getting an item made with the utmost attention to detail and decades of experience put into the composition and craftsmanship of the item. But you are also getting, in that exorbitant price tag, a part of that company’s branding. Regardless of whether the item or article of clothing is heavily branded or not, you know that it is a designer brand or a high-quality brand; this influences people’s perceived value of the item. This feeling will have people thinking that paying $400 for a tee shirt that was originally $800 is a steal.
Customers should be weary of buying items from outlets; they never saw the showroom floor of the main boutique. Companies benefit from their branding and make items specifically for the outlets, often with lower quality materials.
If you have stumbled across an item and are thinking you are getting a deal, search the prices on your phone right there and then to avoid blissfully becoming a victim of genius marketing.
Yes, I am a marketer. I am also an intentional and conscious shopper. As a professional, I can help you not fall for the exploitation of emotions and perceived value used in marketing AND help marketers speak to the consumer with a little more understanding and respect.