Saturday, September 23, 2006

Democratic Luxuries

There is too much of a good thing when a luxury brand is marketed well enough to become democratized. Quite some time ago, I sent a link to the then new Bag, Borrow or Steal to a friend of which he said:

It is interesting. One of those Netflix ideas applied to a bag. Just an idea executed upon and that there are takers possibly. Who knows? Millions of better ideas abound.

I was not convinced that this was not a good idea. Sure there were better ideas but this one held promise. I could see plenty of middle class women of slender means wanting to trade up. I replied:

Where ever there is a woman with multiple maxed out credit cards,nanoscopic savings, and an unstoppable yen for things designer there is a customer. I think they've hit a veritable gold mine. It may not be long before thrift stores carrying classy labels go online. This gives ordinary women a chance to teeter in insured and post paid Manolo Blahniks - nirvana would appear easier to attain than ever before.

His rebuttal was :

That is already happening, though to a limited extent. Classy high-end brands does not have low margin high turnover distribution channels. Why? Leads to brand dilution, and then it has a salutary effect on prospective buyers in the long run. Hence, I will not be surprised that the site that you referenced is a short-lived phenomena ... if the brand names do mean anything for those ladies that need the Gucci satchel ... then the product marketing group will tie the knot on this site, once they catch up with the business model. Such companies will and must operate under the radar to keep afloat or prosper ..woe to them when they start setting sights upon the stars.

The bag rental company is still in the news. Maybe it's one of those things that the marketing text books promise will not work and yet it just happens to tick.


SFGary said...

I don't see what the point is in driving a high end car for a month or carrying around expensive designer bags for a couple of days. I am afraid I don't understand the motivation. Must have something to do with self esteem issues. Oops, sorry for being judgemental...

Heartcrossings said...

SFG - I agree. But as long as there are enough takers for high end bags even if borrowed the concept will work.