Brand Consciousness in Pakistan

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Shopping is loved by a large number of people throughout the world. For the shopaholics it is an experience rather than an errand, an event rather than a chore. The stereotype of shoppers today is that of brand obsessed, label-driven compulsive shoppers. The brand conscious shoppers are the ones likely to buy products made by certain renowned companies. A decade ago M.M.Alam road had a few shops and restaurants but today it has turned into a hub of fashion and brands. HSY, Gucci, Caanchi and Lugari, Levis, Hajra Hayat, you name the brand and its available there. The increasing likeness and preference for particular brand can be especially seen in the purchase of clothes, accessories and perfumes. This development also depicts the change in shopping trends of people whose preference for designer clothes and accessories has increased. Although branded products are mainly the domain of the well-off, yet the awareness of different brands, luxury or otherwise, is increasing amongst all. Every brand claims to make an effort to provide a distinctive experience in order to attain the staus amongst its consumers. There is a lot of competition. However, some brands are more popular than the others. They can be widely divided into three categories. First one is the brands that are mostly popular amongst the youth. Some of the famous names in this category are Levi’s, outfitters, Crossroads, Stone age, Gravity, River Stone etc. “We receive 200-300 customers per day and most of them are teenagers,” says Kamran, shop manager of Outfitters at M.M.Alam. When asked if there was any specific class they kept in mind while designing the clothes and fixing the prices, he said, “Our main target is middle class.” He further added, “the basic reason for preference of this brand is the trendy designs with affordable prices.” In Kamran’s view, teenages are in search of identity which is why they are not afraid of experimenting and spending money on trying new looks. The prices at these shops range from Rs 1200- Rs 5000 thus making it affordable for youth. The clientele consists mostly of college and university going students. Nida, an artist from NCA shopping at Outfitters says,” I’m an outfitters’ person through and through.” When asked why that was so,she answered, “ I like their stuff and when buying it I don’t feel I’m being extravagant, I can easily afford this stuff. They are stylish, comfortable and trendy. Foreign brands such as Gucci, Next and Armani are considered most classy and sought after brands but it’s not the foreign brands only that are considered status symbols. Recently, many domestic brands have become maybe not equally but immensely popular and these form the second category of popular brands. Brands like HSY,Nomi Ansari,Sana Safinaz, Maheen Khan, Nadia Mistry, Deepak Perwani, Maria B. and Amir Adnan are included in this category are some of the big names in the fashion world these days. The prices of these brands mostly start from RS.15000. Despite the prevalence of imitation designer goods, most of the people do not think imitated products match up to the real ones. “Most of the clothes here start from Rs. 20000. Therefore, the clientele is upper class or elite who can easily afford it,” says Imran, store manager at Deepak Perwani’s outlet at M.M.Alam. Giving his views about the age group, he says, “People belonging to all age groups come to shop here but mostly youngsters come to buy trendy eastern clothes.” With competition at its peak, the less well-off have many other somewhat affordable domestic designer brands to turn to. Zara Ahmed, Origins, Surface, Décor and Zaheer Abbas are a few well known names. Muhammad Salman, group manager at Zahra Ahmed’s M.M.Alam gives his views by saying,”We serve the elite as well as the middle class. Our prices are affordable . Casual ranges from Rs.3000-Rs.5000 and formal from Rs.7000-12000. We help people in looking trendy at affordable prices.” He adds, “Every person has the right...
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