Frankly, buying a paperclip at the nearest stationery shop is mundane. If you have a spare $185 lying around, you could buy a Prada paperclip-shaped money-clip. Seriously. Buying a Prada seems so fulfilling, but buying a Prada paperclip for $185 seems inconceivable. Nevertheless, customers still pay for it.

But, it reminded me of a few other supposedly ordinary items being released under a brand. Supreme released their branded brick for $30. It went on sale on eBay for $1000.

And there’s a similar story to this. Primark, who is not too well-known as a luxury brand recently released a pair of shoes inspired by a pair released by Prada. Since the shoes resembled those of Prada so closely and came with a cheaper price (GBP 8 to GBP470 from Prada), it was selling out like hotcakes nationwide.

Branding is a complex subject on its own. It’s more than just a logo stamped on the products. The brand is your voice at the marketplace. It’s what sets you apart from other brands there. Your competitors.

So if you’re selling the same products, how do you present differently?

By selling a lifestyle.

Like I said, buying a Prada item seems so fulfilling. I’d argue that the lifestyle of a Prada item owner seems luxurious in our minds. Chances are, they would be enjoying a luxurious holiday and staying at a five-star hotel every other month. There’s a Prada bag with them. They enjoy shopping around Milan and their Prada paper-shaped money-clip is clipping their money.

Brands sell ideas that comes with buying their products.

Take the Supreme Brick. What does a brick represent, really? Something used to build a house, or is it something rebellious? It can also symbolise your unique voice in your own psyche to present your opinion.

Okay, but what about the Primark shoes that resembled those Prada shoes? They’re cheap but since they’re so similar to the Prada shoes, you might feel as if you’re buying an actual Prada item. Due to the cheaper price, you might even feel a sense of reward; it’s almost therapeutic.

Customers buy products that represent the lifestyle that they’re dreaming of, or the one they’re currently having. Consumers buy something that represent a part of themselves. But every customer perceives a brand differently. That’s why we have our own favourite brands.

There are other factors clearly involved, like product quality, customer services or even something as simple as the name. But if the idea of a brand sells to the consumers, they’d buy it.