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The Fake Factor: Why We Love Brands but Buy Fakes [Paperback]

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Item description for The Fake Factor: Why We Love Brands but Buy Fakes by Sarah McCartney...

The complex relationship between expensive brands, such as Coach, Gucci, and Prada, and their knockoff counterparts is examined in this sociological look at high-end branding. Assuming that branding, and the high price that often comes with it, is a guarantee for high quality, this analysis looks not only at what it takes for a brand to become worthy of being copied, but also at why consumers forego quality for brand recognition and even brag about their fake's lack of credibility. The financial and emotional benefits of fakes for both consumers and fake manufacturers are discussed, as well as what brands can do to entice consumers to buy the real thing. For marketing students, professionals, and those interested in the luxury goods market, this unusual analysis provides a fresh perspective on marketing's ever-elusive desire to understand what it is that drives consumers to buy what they buy.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.35" Width: 5.51" Height: 0.79"
Weight:   0.71 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 28, 2006
Publisher   Cyan Communications
ISBN  190487942X  
ISBN13  9781904879428  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Business & Finance > Marketing
2Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > General
3Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Marketing & Sales > Consumerism
4Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Marketing & Sales > Marketing > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Fake Factor: Why We Love Brands but Buy Fakes?

A thought-provoking treatise on creativity and intellectual rights  May 15, 2006
I may not have been McCartney's target audience here; I buy knockoffs of things all the time. Or should I say, bought. I always figured that you simply couldn't protect intellectual property if there was a cheap way of someone stealing it and making a profit, and furthermore, why should I pay a huge premium for the real thing just to have some brand name on it?

But reading this book was a great experience for me; Sarah personalizes exactly who and how it hurts for me to purchase knockoffs of nearly any product. She talks about exactly what pushes our brand buttons and tries to show us that the things pushing our brand buttons are often worth paying extra for (to buy the real thing). She also makes the point that though counterfeits and knockoffs are a cheap way of buying instant chic - we can try the newest styles at bargain bin prices - they not only compromise us morally but in many cases don't really satisfy the things that we are initially attracted to in the styles or designs. They can be cheaply made or of low-quality fabric, neither of which is really satisfying to wear, and in addition, many of the people who'd think you were cool for wearing something so stylish would know that you had a knockoff by the poor workmanship.

One of the most convincing points for me is the argument that the more of everything we buy, knockoffs and fakes, the more we have to work to pay for these items, and the less time we as individuals have to develop and enjoy our own creativity, and the experiences involved in making our own interesting clothing/ clothing combinations and exploring our creativity in other ways. She makes the point that the trade in knockoffs going on at stores contributes to all of us looking alike in a lot of ways, and that true creativity in design is becoming less common as people realize they can make money off other people's ideas without ever coming up with anything new themselves.

I don't want us all to look and dress alike, and so this was especially thought-provoking to think that maybe there is another model for thinking about what to buy. Well-made, interesting designs from smaller craftspeople can be less expensive than branded items but still of very high quality, and everybody and their mother won't be wearing anything similar. Do-it-yourself and items from small vendors are becoming the new chic in my eyes. I can feel morally good about the choice to spurn items that steal intellectually from others while supporting small businesses and artists, and the kind of cutting-edge creativity that makes the world a more interesting and satisfying place.

I bought this book because I know Sarah's writing as Auntie Pamela from the Lush Times catalogue (, and I love her fun and down-to-earth voice. This book was a satisfying read and gave me some philosophical things to chew on as well as some solid information about marketing, business, the trade in knockoffs, and what exactly is driving me to buy. Highly recommended.
Fascinating explanation of an interesting topic  Mar 24, 2006
I read this book with a great deal of interest; the scale of knockoffs is both amazing and alarming, and Sarah McCartney's analysis is insightful without being preachy. Books on esoteric subjects are not always a good read, but this one is, and I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest in economics or fashion, humanities or capitalism.
Quite interesting!  Mar 24, 2006
This book was a great read. What was the most fascinating to me was reading about other cultures. Sarah McCartney, you can tell, put a lot of time and research into this work, and it really shines with each chapter. Never one to buy fakes myself, this book gave me even more reasons not to do so. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever questioned themselves when buying real or fake luxury goods.
Thought-provoking as well as informational  Mar 13, 2006
For those of us who wonder why on earth anyone would buy cheaply-made Gucci knockoffs - much less who would actually go to the trouble of creating one - this book is a revelation. Ms. McCartney goes beyond the obvious motivations of greed and envy to present us the cause and effect of a not-quite-Louis-Vuitton fashion world. It's an interesting, well-paced book that I heartily recommend.
One of the best reads in the last 12 months  Feb 26, 2006
This is an absolute must read. Honest and well written, this book gives a unique inside into the world of brands and fakes. This should be on everybody's must read list.

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