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Psychology of Buying Epxensive Products

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Retail
Wordcount: 1487 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Society buys expensive items for multiple reasons. They want to feel wanted, accepted, have confidence and want to fit in. People are judged not based on their performance but, what brands they buy and wear. Society believes that expensive items have better quality and material. When having expensive items, it shows a symbol of wealth. Self-confidence and self-esteem is part of having expensive items. People have a thought that if one were to buy this expensive item; they have a high status. Buying expensive items has to do with impressing others as well. Material life is like a mirror, it reflects on our attitude and appearance. Society should base their self- esteem off education and value because those cannot be taken away. If one were to build self- confidence off what they wear and buy; that is not smart. People should value money, spend wisely and make sure it is worth price and necessary. People make their purchasing decision based on the emotion they feel.

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Maslow hierarchy of needs includes physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonginess needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs. Physiological needs has to do with everyday needs for human survival like food, water, shelter and sex. If one does not have these needs, the body cannot function until the needs are met. Safety needs includes protection that has to with like stability, law and order. The need of love and belonginess involves feelings of belongingness having relationship with friends and family, having trust and receiving and giving affection and love. Esteem needs have two meanings; esteem for oneself and respect and desire from others. Esteem from yourself has to do with dignity and achievement. Esteem from others has to do with status and reputation. The last need is self actualization that has to do with ones personal growth and experiences. A desire “to become everything one is capable of becoming” (Mcleod, 2018). 

The esteem needs has to do with respect to yourself which is achievement and from others has to do with status. When people buy expensive items, it makes them feel good about themselves as well as make others look at them highly. When someone buys a white button down form Target, they do not feel the same status as they would if they would buy a button down from Saks Fifth Avenue. Numerous people believe that having brand name items will increase self- confidence and self- esteem. People show off because of their insecurity, childhood experience and to have a feeling of acceptance. Society’s insecurities is about importance and comparing. Society compares themselves to others. If someone was receiving a lot of attention as a child, they would need to maintain that attention level. That person would expect that same attention level when growing up because they are used to that. When someone wants to be accepted, they show off. That person shows off to the person they usually want to impress and affect. They think they need to impress those who they love with buying expensive gifts and brand names (Parvez, 2018).

When choosing friends, does one choose based on their name? No because this idea seems silly. However, it is possible that when selecting clothing, people buy based solely on the brand name. Branding is the lifestyle now a days in many forms. Every year, many people in society spend a great deal of money on clothing, luxurious cars, shows and bags. Brands are attached to clothing, bags, grocery shopping and cars. Brands in turn have created a position for themselves in the society. There are different meanings to the word “brand”. Brand is “the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers” or “trademark” (Dib, 2018).

Why is branding so expensive? It is not the quality that society is paying for.  There are certain brands that have expensive clothing because of their reputation. The clothing could cost more depending on the detailing and trimming but, not six to eight times more. According to Luke Grana; “Cotton is a high quality fabric that doesn’t need to cost that much. You’ll find that prices can vary from the same as a pizza slice up to hundreds of dollars, depending where you shop. The reality is, there are different levels of quality when it comes to cotton, along with dishonest pricing” (Campbell, 2017).

There are reasons as to why fashion brands are expensive. One of the most important reason is to get attention. Once your brand is out there; whether on a model or in a fashion show, it will be known. Fashion shows get much publicity as the photos are in ads and newspapers. When society sees a celebrity wearing a brand name item, they as well want to feel like superstars. If one were to buy an expensive item, they have a big ego and feel like a million bucks. Peer pressure is another aspect as to why people buy expensive items. People want to feel wanted and accepted into groups. They want to be in a group and not have a feeling of exclusion. Some people feel that if they do not wear certain label; they feel worthless. People have a theory that when buying cheap clothing, it falls apart. The clothing does not last as long as if you were to buy an expensive item. Expensive items are made with better material and the stitching will not fall apart. People receive what they pay for. People have an idea that if one wears cheap clothing, they do not look as flattering as if they were to wear a luxury item. Expensive clothing has better quality and fit then a cheap item (Robins, 2018).

  Brands are all around us. Society; especially teens are influenced by idols and celebrities. Since their idol or favorite celebrity has the item, they should also. Some teens might feel insecure because they are not wearing brand names or not updated with the latest style. Now a days people judge based off what they wear instead of who they are as a person. Abercrombie & Fitch, Gucci, Chanel, Victoria Secret, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales are some name brand stores that society sees and know in their everyday lives. If Kylie Jenner were to wear the new Gucci sneakers that were launched; society thinks that they need to wear the new shoes too. Without exceptions, people will either buy the same shoe or try to replicate that exact shoe but different brand. They do this because they want to impress others. They may not be able to afford Gucci but, they will try a copy. It helps them boost their confidence.

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Neruomarketing is the application of neuroscience to marketing neruo. Brain imaging scanning or other activities can measure the responses to a specific product or advertising. This helps learn why consumers make the decisions they do and what part of the brain tells them to do so. Color psychology can influence a customer’s choice as well as the position of a photo. Eye tracking technology uses this to help with advertising as to where the customers eye look at. Another way that brands advertise their company is audio branding (Demeester, 2018).

Emotion is what really drives the purchasing behaviors, and also, decision making in general. Many people impulse buy. Impulse buyers are driven to happiness and increase their mood. Given the idea of buying a luxury item; it is to make them feel better in that moment. That is what helps to drive their decisions (Kramer, 2016). People buy products to link themselves to their “identity” that they want for themselves.


  • Campbell, L. (2017, June 16). Why Is Fashion So Expensive? It’s Not Quality That Costs So Much. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/06/15/why-is-fashion-so-expensive-its-not-quality-that-costs-so-much_a_22327386/
  • Demeester, J. (2018, July 30). 5 Examples of Neuromarketing That Marketers Can Use to Sell Products. Retrieved from https://www.jeffbullas.com/examples-of-neuromarketing/
  • Dib, A. (2018, June 28). What Is A Brand? Retrieved from https://successwise.com/what-is-a-brand/
  • Kramer, B. (2016, July 07). People Buy Emotions Not Things. Retrieved from http://www.brandquarterly.com/people-buy-emotions-not-things
  • Mcleod, S. (2018, May 21). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
  • Parvez, H. (2018). Understanding the psychology of people who show off. Retrieved from https://www.psychmechanics.com/2014/10/personality-traits-showiness.html
  • Robins, W. (2018, May 23). Simple Reasons Why Luxury Fashion Brands Are So Expensive. Retrieved from https://www.feedster.com/branding/simple-reasons-why-luxury-fashion-brands-are-so-expensive/


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