For All The Complaining About Chinese Counterfeits... China Is A Massive Growth Market For Luxury Goods

from the aspirational dept

A few years ago, we noted a study that suggested "counterfeit" goods weren't nearly as big a "problem" as many made it out to be. That's because in a very large percentage of cases, the buyers knew they were buying a counterfeit and did so on purpose because they knew they couldn't afford the real thing. In other words, in those cases, there was no "loss" per se, because the buyer couldn't buy the original at that time. But the really interesting part of the study was the finding that a very large percentage of people who buy counterfeit goods end up buying the real product later. In other words, the counterfeit is a form of marketing.

It appears that may be happening on a large scale in Asia (and China in particular). Despite all the claims that China and other Asian companies are homes to mass counterfeiting, apparently various luxury goods brands are seeing massive uptake and demand in China and across wider Asia. Various luxury goods companies like Prada are announcing record revenue thanks to these countries that are often supposed to be pits of counterfeiting. Perhaps that original study got it right, and lots of folks who used to buy counterfeits are now itching for the real thing.

Filed Under: china, luxury goods, trademark

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  1. icon
    Mike C. (profile), 30 Sep 2011 @ 4:37am


    So you'd rather have brand obscurity?

    The problem with the brand holders (as well as the MAFIAA and their ilk) is that they're not understanding the wider impact of having their product be ubiquitous.

    If it's considered normal for everyone to have a Prada bag, whether or not it's a knockoff, then NOT having one is actually harmful. Then it becomes a matter of wether or not you can afford a real one or have to settle for a "fake". Being able to get a genuine article improves your social status.

    The flip side of aggressive enforcement is that only people that can have a genuine item have them. Unfortunately, that's a much smaller subset of the population which ends up giving the owners more of an negative elitist reputation than a positive role model one.

    Consider cell phones. Today, a significant portion of the US population carry one. A large number of them allow people to check email, update social media status, etc, and are considered "average". But think back a few years before the iPhone and Android phones to when just BlackBerry was the choice. People with BlackBerry's were often looked down upon as someone who needed to "get a life" and "you don't need to be THAT connected". Now that the devices are everywhere, the pressure to upgrade on people that DON'T have smart phones is immense. Even the cell providers are making it difficult to stay data free. The last time I checked AT&T for new cell phones, every last one available for their monthly plans required a data connection.

    So go ahead, push enforcement but be ready to fade into obscurity when you do.

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