The last two decades have marked the up-rise of innumerable competitive brands, surpassing each other in several features and services. With the brand psychology increasingly percolating in the brains of the common man, few still prefer clinging on to the cheaper versions. In this we will see what makes people go crazy after a successful brand, and what makes these brands so unimaginably expensive.
I remember as kids we used to go to the local markets, and buy two shirts for four, and still get two free. So, we paid for two and got six in exchange. Those were the happy days! But now as I turn back, I often realise that behind, was my mother stitching each for ten times twice a year.
When it comes to bags and purses, leather is the most experimented of all. Man’s perennial love for leather have dominated all others, and this is why leather industry has worked a lot hard to sustain the love and pride in the form of best brands across the world.
Let’s know what all factors makes the leather brands so highly expensive as compared to the local brands:
Any brand lover you ask the reason for sticking to a single brand despite so many alternatives around, the most common answer you get is its durability. Premium brands ensure that they are made of quality and premium products or raw materials only. Due to their reach and scalability, they do extensive search for best and premium quality leather, tannins etc. they can use as raw materials and produce the most durable product. Also the genuineness of pure leather makes it sustain wear and tear of extensive usage and therefore makes the brands popular.
On the other hand, local markets are often using mixed or synthetic leather that are cheap and easily available. Such products as any user will easily realize won’t last for long.
Genuine Leather is taken through a painstaking process in order to create the fine and flawless products that we often find in popular stores. The stages like Pre-Tanning and Tanning, along with Curing, Soaking, Liming and De-liming, Fleshing, Bating, Pickling etc. are time-consuming and extensive processes that require proper infrastructure, maintenance of health and hygiene, and also proper waste disposal. Premium brands ensure that they sell the best processed leather, which will not smell in due course of time, but at the same time will retain the genuine texture of leather on the surface. Additional tanning removes the moisture from the leather which makes leather prone to crack or tear after certain time, whereas under-tanned leather retains a lot of moisture which will smell bad and also attract fungi.
Local or small companies are devoid of huge infrastructure, and also do not necessarily carry out all the processing stages. Moreover, they use polyurethane or poly-vinyl synthetics or scrap leather products which are treated and pressed into sheets to form surfaces of cheaper products, which look largely real and like original leather. Such products are highly cheaper but can be used only for few months till they chip off.
Premium Brands invest a lot on professional designers to create unique and stylish designs for each set of customers. With a lot of attention to the purpose, application, usage and occasions, we find a lot of variants in designs and styles which later become popular as they appear in different media and campaigns. Therefore premium brands are chosen to create style statements.
On the other side, small leather companies mostly focus on creating replicas and copies of hugely popular designs. They generally do not work on the designs and are hence mostly found unattractive.
The reputed brands that have survived for more than a decade have put their extensive efforts to earn and create the name. They build a brand based on trust and love of their customers. Hence, they are always likely to sell original and quality leather. Also, premium Brands offer certified leather. Such certifications are provided after proper audits ensuring that the leather is original and is taken through required measures before bringing them to customers. Therefore, customers can blindly trust companies which are offering certified leather as genuine and original product, knowing they will be for a lifetime and will not cause any concern post purchase of the product.
Local companies have small infrastructure with which complete processing of leather is not possible. They also discover smarter ways to present cheaper leather-like products into the market so that customers take them as original leather. Their products are mostly synthetic, or made of scrap leathers and are not always original. They also lack in proper licenses, certifications and do not follow required norms.
The next important thing that plays a vital role is the accessories of any leather product we buy. Leather-lovers care a lot about leather and while choosing any product, they deserve those perfect accessories that may accompany leather for a lifetime. As leather is a highly durable product, local accessories generally tend to rip off, or delaminate, or are prone to rust with time. This is the reason why most premium brands always use stainless steel in the zippers, high quality crystals and beads to enhance their designs. This calls for a premium cost of the brand.
In case of local brands, the zippers are of mild steel which rust very easily when exposed to moisture and rain.
Premium brands are very confident about the quality and durability of their products. Hence they can easily offer Warranties to their customers and also sell their products under lenient return policies. So in case if a customer wants to return the product even on basis of going for another in exchange they are easily allowed to do so. Most brands offer full replacement of the products in case they are found broken, torn, or damaged by customers.
Local brands fail to provide any warranty to their customer. They are mostly a ‘one-time sell’ in which customers need to bear full accountability of the products they purchase.
Pre and post sales customer service is another major factor why we stick to our favourite brands. These companies are attentive to the needs of their customers, their satisfaction and complaints. For this they invest in competent sales and services team to cater to their needs, pay attention to their feedback and lodge their complaints with fast actions. Therefore, customers feel very safe, secured and comfortable about their buys.
The local brands also maintain good relations, but with a limited reach they are not able to scale up. They remain restricted within a small territory and a limited number of customers only.