SRINAGAR: Brand consciousness is nowadays a craze among Kashmir’s young generation. Experts believe that brands attain the power to affect people lives as every product is branded.
Fabric showroom owners suggest that shopping trends among youngsters reflect high levels of brand consciousness, a gigantic change compared to consumer preferences two decades ago.
“Youngsters are becoming more brand conscious. I suppose it could be because of fashion awareness and desire to get a durable product,” says Aayaz Ahmad, a fabric trader in Lal Chowk.
Sociologists believe that brands – which cost consumers financially – also impact their psychology. Shaziya Akbar Lone, a sociology student at University of Kashmir, says that brand consciousness identifies one sellers good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. “But today its definition has changed all together. Unlike before it now identifies the person owning it as distinct from others,” she says.
She says that there is no harm if a person relies on brands when it comes to quality and durability even if it costs him good amount of money. But adopting brands to show off or in order to maintain status quo directly or indirectly affects the society.
Rukhsana Quyoom, an Islamic Studies Student at Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), says, “Choosing a branded product for its quality and durability is not a bad thing but choosing it to show off is for sure a bad one.”
Fashion experts however, believe that young generation adopts trends which influence them easily but their influence on outlook is likely to be positive. Sheeba Matta is a fashion designer based in Dehli, She says, “Everyone wants to be noticeable in his own class. Adoption of famous brands enables us to bring out the positive change in our personalities which won’t last long.”
“But on the same time it’s not necessary that every brand and designer attire suits your personality. In many cases, if you are not able to carry the brand, it becomes a futile exercise,” Matta believes.
Showkat Ahmad, a student at Nelson Mandela Center for Peace and Conflict Relations, Jamia Milli Islamia University, New Delhi, says, “Research reveals that luxury brands like FERRARI, ROLEX, and GUCCI are made only for one percent population of the world or even less, they are the ultra-rich.”
“Such brands and industries should be abolished as they are a burden on this earth and a stamp mark of capitalism on this world where rich becomes richer and a poor becomes poorer, where a rich can afford a million dollar car and a poor can’t afford two meals a day,” Ahmad says.
Experts believe that brand consciousness has both negative as well as positive aspect. Sociologist, Ashiq Lone, says that brand consciousness among new generation is not always harmful if they are adopting it not to compromise with the quality. “If the same is adopted to show off, it could have serious impact on any society and consequences could be dangerous”.