Designer brands have a choke hold on many Americans with them running to go buy pieces from the latest collections, but why would so many people buy from brands like Gucci or Hermes?
Around 38% of Americans bought luxury shoes in 2018 with a large proportion of them not even able to afford their purchases. A completely rational person would always act in their best interest, avoiding debt or making purchases that would better suit their income. However, people don’t act rationally, many people would rather spend thousands of dollars on a luxury branded bag with a similar quality and function as a $100 bag. The marketing of products is a big driver for many purchases because if a product appears to be better and has more features than its competitors despite a higher price point, many people will still purchase the higher-priced good. There is also a common assumption that a higher price means better quality, which isn’t necessarily true and is generally due to a lack of information given to consumers. Many consumers are busy and don’t have the time to research the actuality of products, therefore they just go with what appears to be best or what everyone else has. Another factor as to why people buy luxury products despite not possibly having the income to afford them is the ego boost and validation associated with owning a Prada bag or Hermes scarf. With the relative ease of online shopping, it allows for quicker purchases without having to think about the impact of buying the product. The instantaneity of social media, like Instagram and Tik Tok, causes consumers to constantly see new products or watch what their favorite influencers and celebrities are buying and wearing. Consumers often forget that they already have similar products but because it is not that specific Gucci bag, they feel the need to buy it. People feel the need for acceptance of others, and often times that’s associated with staying on top of trends and overconsuming products. The purchasing of luxury goods also tends to make consumers appear better or more stylish than others without it, which just continues the cycle of people feeling the need and validation of owning designer brands.