A Graphic Demonstration of the Value of Brand
Australian value retailer Best & Less set out to demonstrate you don’t have to pay crazy prices for women’s fashion. They set-up a pop-up shop in Sydney’s CBD, branding it as LAB (an inverted acronym of Best and Less), stocking it with Best & Less product and inflating the prices dramatically. As customers bought garments to the counter to purchase they were told the price “was not actually $140, but $40” and that they were actually a Best & Less retail outlet.The look on the faces of the customers is priceless – a mix of horrified shock & embarrassment, as they realize they have inadvertently engaged with a fashion brand they would not normally associate with. On the one hand Best & Less demonstrate that their products are every bit as well designed and well made as their more expensive competitors, but at the same time they are underscoring an even more important factor – that the brands we choose to associate with is a more powerful influence on purchasing decision than the product design and price point.
One customer claims she is always saying; “women’s clothes are unnecessarily expensive” – yet there she is choosing to shop in an expensive boutique. Another customer confesses; “I don’t mean to be a snob, but I wouldn’t go to Best & Less – that’s the pint though isn’t it?” And that is precisely the point of how brand works; we choose the brands we wish to associate with as a reflection of the person we aspire to be. An investment in branding is an investment in creating exactly that aspirational association that flows over your product and service, affording both increased margin through permission for higher pricing and increased repeat purchase through customer loyalty.
So whilst Best & Less set-out to prove their product is every bit the equal of their more expensive competitor brands, what they ended-up revealing is that for the majority of consumers, brand beats price almost every day of the week.