How brand loyalty is costing you money and even worse, may be driving you into debt
Millennials love brands. We are very loyal to brands, devices and the idea of our millennial lifestyle. We adore our clean, crisp, do what makes you happy, live your best life now lifestyle & whilst these attributes of our generation have their own merits, they also have their pitfalls.
It has dawned on me that as a generation, our collective acceptance of the idea of “an ideal” lifestyle is costing us money and even worse probably driving us into debt as we are conditioned by majority of the images around us to buy more and live beyond our means.
I point specifically to brand loyalty or the unconscious and misguided commitment we have to staying current in all aspects of our lives. Every year there are new/revamped gadgets and fashion items that demand our attention and it seems to me that in an effort to keep up appearances, many of us have literally – with our money and self-esteem – bought into society’s idea of success to the detriment of our sense of peace and well-being.
With all the money that we borrow in order to fit in and look successful today, we buy ourselves instability and a fear of tomorrow. We borrow from tomorrow to appease today, a monster that is never satisfied. The sad part is that with everybody doing it, we all accept this behaviour as normal.
In order to combat this habit of needlessly living beyond our means – yes needless is the right word, no woman needs 10 different pair of black heels – we need to look under the bed or literally into the wardrobe and confront this monster head on. Know and understand that the brands that we are loyal to are not loyal to us, no matter what the personalised email says. New Look, River Island and H&M DO NOT CARE about our well-being. Apple and Samsung are NOT BOTHERED about what will happen to us if we are unable to make rent or the minimum payment on our credit cards this month. They will not show up to bail us out of a tight financial spot should we – God forbid – lose our jobs tomorrow. BRANDS ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS! WE OWE THEM NO LOYALTY.
What brands do care about however, is their profit margins. They care about the amount of money that they can take from your bank account and deposit into theirs. That’s why they spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on marketing campaigns that are geared at selling us dreams. Have your ever bothered to check how much money your favourite brands spend on their marketing departments?
They purposefully engineer drives to make us think we need the newest technology in order to be satisfied with our lives. Ever wonder why the ad campaigns only feature happy people with active lifestyles who look nice and carefree? Girls running around on the beach having a great time or people on night outs laughing and smiling with friends? Today it’s even worse because the attack – yes I said attack – comes from bloggers and vloggers, people who we identify with and are inspired by, we see them with it and so we begin to want it too.
Realising that these companies are not our friends and do not have our best interest at heart, should lift the wool over our eyes, if not totally then at least partially. Look into your purse and wardrobe and realise that despite what the advertising is telling you, you do not need those extra clothes, gadgets or shoes. For those of us who got into debt to acquire the trendiest gadgets it should be a rude awakening. We are feeding a monster (called consumerism) that is never satisfied.
Stop being loyal to the latest fashion trends and gadget releases when you do not have a fully funded emergency fund, you are still struggling to make ends meet and have not even started saving towards your future. You have enough trainers, enough makeup, you don’t need three different shades of the nude lipstick, you have enough wigs. You do not need a bag for every occasion & NO! you do not need the latest iProduct simply because Apple tells you so.
You will still be a lovable human being with red blood running through your veins if you do not buy into society’s idea of the ideal millennial. You are fine as you are, no shame attached What-So-Ever.
If you are in debt, the latest iPhone can wait, those extra new trainers can wait, and the new car on a finance deal can wait. What can’t wait however, is your financial freedom. Don’t believe the hype, check out of their version of success and start building yours.
Be your own friend.