The "Bag Fatigue" Phenomenon

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In the latest financial feature “Internet Causes Brand Fatigue for Handbag Companies“, we discuss how consumers have grown weary of the same old, same old with recent bag styles. In addition to a underwhelming styles, certain bags have become overexposed through the internet and social media. Have you personally felt “bag fatigue” yet? In your opinion, what bags have become over exposed? What can companies do to gauge your interest again?

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The last time I had “bag fatigue” was with a trend, not a specific bag: micro bags!
Mini bags are fine because depending who’s holding them, they look proportionate to an adult woman’s body. Micro bags were only proportionate to a child’s body.

Don’t get me wrong: I die for teeny tiny bags hanging from a full size bag. I have a Chanel flap that fits a only box of cigarettes and I love wearing her on my medium flap. What I can’t understand is people posing with a bag they can only fit 3 fingers in the handle. Look like they stole the bag from their daughter.
Mini is small enough without looking silly 😉

I’m not a trend follower per say; lots of people die for brand new Hermes Birkins and I’m on a HUGE vintage Kelly kick right now.
When I wear my grandmother’s 1965 black crocodile Kelly, I feel like the chiquest woman in the world, even if I’m wearing jeans, a t-shirt and ballet flats.

I think the trend of Birkin customization (painting bags) stemmed from people wanting to have somehing one of a kind, since the market was so saturated with them.

I predict when there’s brand or trend fatigue, people will turn to lesser known designers and instead of having the “it” bag every single person has, they will want to own something unique and new that no one knows what it is or turn to vintage pieces, since many of them of a them are kind and depending on the era, can be something fresh again. 60’s gometric bag when everyone is wearing slouchy hobos, anyone? 😉

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I am absolutely loving the dialogue everyone is having here. It really helps to read one anthers perspectives. I did not take into serious consideration the fact that many people do not live near boutiques and social media therefore satiates a NEED to see and experience vicariously.

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Like I said in the post, in my opinion the bag fatigue only hits the ones who already have it all and can have it all. For the class who can’t just go out and buy whatever they want whenever they want, the overexposure of bags on instagram and other social media only make them even more desirable.

  • Pursebop

    I found it very refreshing to read your perspective PatiEv. Your thoughts have shed a new light on the WWD article that I quote in mine. Thank you for the thought provoking comments.

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Personally I feel that the internet is undisputably the strongest information source for literally everything. From the search engines, brand sites, forums, and interest platforms. Has it created brand fatigue? I think it is a very convenient ít’s not my fault’ excuse. There is something for everyone, and in today’s reality, style is evolving, and you rarely find a single-brand patron anymore. Brands that are on the down-spiral, basically they have to seriously re-evaluate themselves. Simply because, maybe they have over-expanded, product quality does not commensurate with the price value equation, client service issues, or simply, the creative proposition does not appeal, etc, the reasons are not exhaustive, and may be all of the above. What is objectionable about the internet, in my opinion, is the prevalence and saturation of counterfeit products. I am particularly disturbed by the disregard of intellectual property, trademarks and designs. Does seeing pretty pictures of bags over and over and over again cause me to tire of the brand? Not necessarily. But seeing rip-offs of the bags from a brand over and over and over again annoys me. Some brands are overly accessible and heavily discounted end of every season. In fact some brands are heavily discounted by parallel importers IN-season. Surely we are not expecting brand equity of these brands to be worth much? There are several brands that are more loved in instagram, referencing the number of reposts, likes, comments that the posts garner. There are some brands that yield dismal number of likes, is it because of brand fatigue, or is it because the brand is no longer desirable. Something to think about.

  • Pursebop

    happybaggage you bring about some very valuable thinking points. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for a company like ours to repost images from people that we do not know in fear of accidentally reposting an image of a fake bag. I am very concerned about this and find myself restricting myself to images within our community to be safe.

  • happybaggage

    Thank you @pursebop for taking the effort to filter the images you feature!… I am also getting wary with liking or commenting on pictures because it is really hard to tell authenticity from pictures. If I may add, or share an example, when Prada’s inside bag was first presented, I thought it was an interesting proposition. I went on the official Prada’ online platforms to check out the bag. I read more from the online bag blogs and forums. There were all sorts of reviews of differing extremities. I pondered. And @solidarityfemme posted the prettiest pictures, ever, of the bag, and I started thinking about the bag again. I visited the store, and somehow was not convinced. I guess if anything at all, Instagram is a double edged tool, and I wouldn’t attribute brand fatigue to online exposure, be it (vocal), (repeated) negative or positive exposure.

  • I think several good points are brought up here. For me personally I have grown disinterested in a bag because of overexposure (Celine Luggage) but I have also discovered bags that I wasn’t aware of that are now on my “check it out” list. Not having unlimited funds I try to consider if any designer bag will suit my lifestyle and bring joy for years to come. Reviews on the Internet are a great help. On the flip side, because I can not own every lust worthy bag I admit I live vicariously through ladies like our Pursebop Celebrities. But yes I am sure so much exposure does fuel the counterfeit market. I am not schooled in how to spot a fake and have often worried that I may be following, liking, or commenting on a bag that isn’t genuine.

    So does the Internet for me personally cause brand fatigue? A little bit. I think I am more educated and make wiser purchases because of forums and reviews. I also have found people with common interests that do not judge me for my designer purchases. So for me the exposure has more pros than cons.

    If brands find their sales lagging they need to look to themselves for solutions. I think the Internet is here to stay and companies have much more savvy informed customers. Thanks for such a great topic.

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I disagree with impact of instagram, if anything it created more desire for bag. When I think I fell in love with a bag at first sight, I visit the store several times so that it sinks in and I am sure it will be a long term love-this-bag relationship and not just impulsive and won’t-love-it-as-much-later-on relationship.. same for instagram, I check photos of the bag for days until I am sure she’s the one..Instagram created more exposure especially for people who do not have accessability to stores in their countries and after viewing on instagram they can buy online.

  • Pursebop

    I absolutely agree with your viewpoint… thank you for bringing forward the point that not everyone has access to the boutiques therefore social media plays a vital needed role. I appreciate your insight :)

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it is true that social media played a major role on the brand fatigue. Instagram, YouTube and Google makes it easier for consumers to have a preview of the bag which sometimes kills the excitement of the consumers. The existing preloved market also contributed to this phenomenon, honestly there’s a lot of great bags at a friendlier price which consumers love. Designs of bags are like being copied or looks the same which is where “If they have it, i don’t want it.” comes in. in my opinion its not just having the bag but the poise in carrying it. its a tough choice and challenge, but it’s up to you on how to shine in a sea of designer handbags. xoxo

  • I disagree with impact of instagram, if anything it created more desire for bag. When I think I fell in love with a bag at first sight, I visit the store several times so that it sinks in and I am sure it will be a long term love-this-bag relationship and not just impulsive and won’t-love-it-as-much-later-on relationship.. same for instagram, I check photos of the bag for days until I am sure she’s the one..Instagram created more exposure especially for people who do not have accessability to stores in their countries and after viewing on instagram they can buy online.

  • Pursebop

    well said Blair Quinn Rochefort, yes ultimately it is the poise in carrying the bag, not just the ownership. And that POISE is unique to each and every one of us.

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