Monday, January 30, 2006

Slave to Brands

Now i used to love Virgin Nigeria. Roomy aircraft. Well organised and stuff. I staunchly defended them against anyone who had a bad word to say about them. In some way i identified with the goals to be Nigerian and world class and i really wanted them to suceed. However, my experience last week Friday on the Abuja-Lagos scared the crap out of me. Talk about rollercoasters. Its was surreal. I dont know if the Russian pilots had over indulged in their customary Smirnoff (am assuming this is what russians do that is if these guys are even russian ) before the flight, but it seemed your guy was looking for the baddest clouds in the sky and intentionally flying into them. But after we landed and i got over the shock of it all. I started questioning my loyalty to the Virgin Nigeria brand and why i was so loyal in the 1st place.

Its not only true that "You are what you eat", its also true that you are what you wear, where you shop, what you buy there, where you eat, what you eat there. The brands we long to be associated with shows the kind of person we are. Or does it? Quick exercise. Go home and have a look at your shopping bags. I bet you will fall in one of the 3 categories below:

Type 1 (Fashionista):
  • Designer bags galore esp Selfridges and Harrods. Brings every single shopping bag gotten when they travelled out of the country back.
  • Carry their TM Lewin shopping bags everywhere. Serve as bible holders, file jacket for the office. Just need everyone to know i can buy a shirt for 7.5k
  • Use Nike, Adidas or Puma bags when carrying sport related items.
  • Use Duty Free Shopping Bags to masks the items contained in local bags inside. Cant have people think we shop in the country
Type 2 (Easy Shopper)
  • Has a wide variety of bags. Doesnt send which ones. More concerned about value for money for the items inside and couldnt care less what image it projects. This is me by the way. :)
Type 3 ( Wanna Be)
  • Accumulates rumpled/ used bags utilised by Type 1
Now not to sound hypocrytical, we all probably have a bit of the 3 types in us in different shades. Our level of dependency on these status items for a sense of self-worth varies per person. But we all derive some sense of comfort from the safety provided by brands. Why go to Silverbird instead of City Mall? Suppose the whole idea is not to get hung up on it and know you are who you are. At the end of the day, brand loyalty is just making someone else wads of cash in guaranteed sales.

Anyhow. Have to go. Enjoy

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