Stop Being a Brand Whore: Brand Loyalty vs. Brand Whoring

Stop Being a Brand Whore

Brand Loyalty v. Brand Whoring

Brand Whore:
Adjective
A person who buys and prominently displays name brand products (or products that feature large corporate logos) under the belief that such loyalty to a label or corporation is a cachet and brings prestige to their otherwise lack of taste, regardless of the actual quality or value of the products. (Urban Dictionary)

model black and white brand loyalty

Source: Photo by Engin Akyurt via Pixabay.com / Original Image Desaturated and Layered with Logos by Sofia Silva


Brand whores display all their favorite, most expensive pieces proudly—and in some cases, loudly as well. If you see someone decked out from head to toe in what is obviously a designer brand, chances are you’ve found a brand whore. If you woke up this morning and decided to wear your favorite Dior sunnies, that edgy Tom Ford blouse, black Gucci leggings, and a pair of wildly fierce Alexander McQueen heels, chances are, you’re the brand whore—especially considering those brand names are displayed front and center.
brand loyalty milan fashion week 2018

Milan Fashion Week Fall 2018. Source: Photo by Imaxtree via Fashionista.com


Let me start by saying this: being a brand whore isn’t always a bad thing. It’s all about perspective—yours, and the public’s. If you switch it up, call yourself a brand enthusiast, and educate yourself on the brands you buy, the title sounds much more prestigious than dreadful. But it doesn’t change the stereotype you’ve made for yourself wearing all those labels, just because they’re labels. To stop being branded by the rest of the population, it is crucial to know the difference between being a brand whore and being loyal to a brand you love.
Personally, I love brands. And I love snagging them at a great deal, too. But not every brand lives up to its reputation consistently. There are some who will wait hours in a mile long line outside a designer store or boutique, solely to be the first to Instagram the new Prada bags of the season. Each year, thousands of people fall victim to the almighty advertising campaigns. Becoming casualties to beautiful models, artsy graphic design and witty allure. Each year, I must convince myself I do not need a pair of red soles, or that new collection of trademark tops. Top marketing coordinators don’t just come up with memorable slogans and hire amazing graphic designers—they study what influences our minds to buy, and how to keep us buying (the catchy jingles and designs don’t hurt either).
brand loyalty street style

Street Style. Source: Photo by Vonecia Cardwell via Unsplash.com


Thanks to these campaigns, subconsciously these products have already been diagnosed as needs. I need this handbag. It is exactly what I’m missing in my life, and considering it’s Gucci, five grand is totally doable. This is the power of marketing. Every time you flaunt a label or post a picture of your newest designer bag/shoes/clothes on social media with twenty different promotional hashtags, you are doing these brands a huge service. Not only are you pimping them out and providing a steady stream of free marketing, but you are being a complete brand whore. These companies know you will continue to buy at a higher and higher price point, even if the things they produce become lackluster in quality and design.
brand loyaly gucci t-shirt

Mafalda de Castro wearing a Gucci T-Shirt. Source: Photo via @mafaldacastro


How far is too far? Let’s take a look at the newest trending fashion sensation- a seven-year-old girl from Harajuku, Japan who goes by Coco. She has an instagram full of photos of herself decked out in designers. Cute, right? While many people would agree (she has already exceeded 500k followers), it’s a bit much to have an innocent child so deeply enveloped in high end brands and labels. Considering her wide-spread popularity, at only seven, Coco is influencing the global youth, and subliminally spamming them with brand names; including those who perhaps cannot afford such luxury labels, but now feel pressured to keep up with a child. Everyone wants to feel like they belong in society, but brand whoring—no matter your age, isolates you to a small, conceited bubble where only money talks.
brand loyalty chanel perfume

Chanel Poster Pink Perfume Hydrangea Print Framed. Source: Artwork by Del Art


Brand loyalty is a completely different concept. When you are loyal to a brand, you believe in the company’s continuous quality and success. Perhaps you have used the brand your entire life, or have watched it blossom over the past few years, but ultimately you believe that this brand’s craftsmanship and mission are the crème de la crème. You are personally proud of that brand—whether you support their humanitarian mission, or are simply appreciative of the marks they have made on the industry—due to this, you continue to buy their products not based on their flashy advertisements, trendy new line or costly price tags, but because you just plain like them! Sure, you’ll still post on social media wearing your ride-or-die brand, but you’re not posting photos of a bedazzled brand name plastered across your rear end, and you certainly are not live-streaming every designer in your closet for the world to see. You are loyal to your brand because you like their products and values, not because you like the attention their name gets you. You wouldn’t dream of cheating with another.
 

 
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but the fact of the matter is that brand loyalty keeps the bar held high. When you are loyal to a brand, or even a few different brands, it exudes stability. You know who you are, you know what you’re about, and you know what you like—quality and style from your favorite brand. In the end, it boils down to whether you are truly happy what you are buying and consuming, or if you are making these costly purchases solely to keep up the illusion that you are best friends with every designer on the planet. Purchase product that truly delights you—find a brand where love happens.
 
Words by Whitney Talkington
 
 

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