Our society is often deemed as a consumerist one, and that is certainly accurate. People in developed countries love to go out shopping and spend money on cars, clothes, jewelry, gadgets, computers, and so on. Regardless of whether we need something, we end up buying anyway – and brands play an important part in the process of the purchase decision.
This is an important point in this subject, as more than a fifth of consumers say they bought a new product because it was from a brand they like. In fact, this is so important that there are scientific studies about the impact of brand image on consumer behavior (example).
But let's get rational for a moment: are those big brands always worth it? Is it possible to get a similar product from a different brand, with approximate characteristics and features, while paying way less than the cost of the product from the big brand?
The answer is, most of the times, yes. Of course, buying from “alternative” brands is not always possible – foods are a great example of this, as we like a certain brand for its flavor and no other brand can match it. There are, however, certain items where we can hardly tell the difference, at least in terms of how those items perform.
Smartphones are a classic example in this subject. While top brands like Apple or Samsung make top-notch smartphones, are they really worth their cost? The answer to this question will certainly raise debate, but no one can argue with facts.
Let's take a look on the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, one of the latest flagship models from the South Korean company. Selling for over than $700, it features a 5.1″ screen (1440×2560 pixels resolution), a main camera with 16MP, 3GB of RAM and a 2600mAh Li-Ion battery, making it an amazing smartphone.
But are there any alternative from other brand, featuring similar specs with a smaller price? Yes, several of them as a matter of fact. There are now several Chinese brands hitting markets around the world, with great devices at low prices. One of such brands is Xiaomi, the third largest selling brand in the world, that is about to hit the US market (apparently selling old models, but new ones can be found in several online stores that ship to the US).
All this should make us think about our buying habits: can we change the brands we usually look for in order to spend less and still have products with the same quality and functionality?