Is wearing a logo fashion or is it advertising? It is a fashion debate that has been doing the rounds of fashion circles and society generally for years. Is it fashionable to wear clothes, shoes and other products that sport logos of brands they are marketed by, or is it the company’s way of getting free publicity by making you pay for the products while displaying their brands? Let’s work through the issue.
Why do companies have brand logos at all?
A logo is a visual, often pictographic, representation of a brand. It is unique to the brand and is used to tell customers and clients what the company, and product, stands for. These logos become synonymous with the brand’s values, its prestige, and ultimately its customers.
From the customer standpoint – is it fashionable to sport brand logos on your outfit?
Here are a few arguments from people who support either side of this fashion debate.
It is fashion
For many people, brands define fashion, certain brands have a reputation for making amazing clothes for a certain age group or demographic. The customers of these brands buy the product because it’s a matter of expressing their identity; showing people who they are by the clothes they wear. Having a logo clearly visible on the product helps this cause.
Many people also swear by the quality of products by a certain brand. They are people who are loyal to a handful of brands and buy all their fashion products – clothing, shoes, bags, and other accessories – only from them. Displaying the brand logo in public on their products is their way of showing their brand loyalty, and their dedication to buying quality items.
Logos that look great are a big plus, since they make your outfit look even better. The logo adds to not only the quality but also to the look of the outfit. Polo Ralph Lauren is a great example of a logo that adds to an outfit. The polo playing horse rider doesn’t just signify the quality and prestige of the brand, but the colours, size and placement of the logo changes for each line of clothing. Contrasting embroidery adds a point of interest to any outfit. Perhaps why their polo shirts and cable knit jumpers are so popular!
It is advertising
The other set of people are those who believe that buying obviously branded products results in the customer doing free publicity work for the company. They believe it is unfair to let the companies use them as free billboards to market their brand when they, as customers, do not get anything for it.
The argument centres on how celebrities are paid to wear brands and sport brand logos, while normal customers have to pay to buy a product and end up giving free publicity to the brand, with nothing in return for the same.
This group of people believes that you can buy products of the exact same quality but at a much lower price if it is unbranded. They do not believe in paying big bucks just for the logo and brand name associated with it.
From the company standpoint – why do they put brand logos on company products?
Companies look at this from a slightly different point of view. They agree that it is marketing and publicity, but for them, it goes beyond sales numbers. Brand logos, like mentioned before, represent a brand for its customers.
A brand displays a logo on its products not just to increase sales, but to increase its presence and quick recognition in public memory. Repeated exposure to the same logo will imprint it in the minds of present and potential customers. This improves brand recognition. The more people recognize a certain logo, the more they will choose to go with that brand because they feel it is a brand that they know and understand.
Another factor here is the sheer amount of money that goes into designing a brand logo and putting it out there. It needs to be recognized, liked and reflected in sales for that kind of money to prove useful. Putting it on products ensures that this investment by the company in building a brand does not go to waste.
So where do you sit on this issue?
In the end, it all comes down to individual choices. There are people who like brands and branded products, and showing off logos is a sense of pride for them. For others, it feels like they are paying big bucks for products with logos only to be free billboards for the company. It is best to decide for yourself, based on the arguments presented above, as to what you agree with and what works best for you.
For me, I prefer no logo. I don’t care really if something is a particularly well-known brand or not, and I certainly do not feel the need to be showing anyone what brands I follow. I do however follow particular brands. If I find a style that I love from a brand, or a product with a great feel to its fabric, then I want to wear that. Would I still buy it if it had the brand on the outside? I don’t think so. This tells me that I fall into the “no brand” camp! Which camp are you in?