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The Fake Factor: Why we love brands but buy fakes [Paperback]

Sarah McCartney
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

8 Dec 2005
Why would anyone deliberately set out to buy a counterfeit?
This is the question The Fake Factor steps out to answer. On the journey it
explores the reasons why the brand's evil twin, the fake, has gained a
following in its own right. There are many who think it's ridiculous to buy
the real thing while there's a cheap copy readily available at a local
market stall. Ripping through the complexity of international intellectual
property law (totally inconsistent), the rise of the Yuppie, our increasing
dependence on credit and the influence of celebrities and peer groups, The
Fake Factor is a sociological guide to our current buying habits whether we
favour brands, non-brands or "faux brands" A must for marketing
professionals, students and anyone who is interested in knowing more about
how marketers use their brands' identities to help us part with out cash.

Frequently Bought Together

The Fake Factor: Why we love brands but buy fakes + Knockoff: The Deadly Trade in Counterfeit Goods: The True Story of the World's Fastest Growing Crimewave + Fake Stuff: China and the Rise of Counterfeit Goods (Routledge Series for Creative Teaching and Learning in Anthropology)
Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish (8 Dec 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190487942X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904879428
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14.3 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 930,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Author

Why is a t-shirt with a brand name on it worth up to 20 times more than one of exactly the same quality with no logo? Or rather, why will people pay that much more for it? In The Fake Factor, you can read all about the reasons, in my words and those of the nice people who helped with the research, why so much extra value is placed on branded goods.
Some people will happily fork out extra cash for recognisable brand names and logos both for the quality and the image. Others aspire to owning them but don't have the money. This creates a huge market (around 10% of word trade) for illegal counterfeiters to flourish. In the West where we have a vast choice of branded and unbranded goods, what makes purchasers pick the illegal ones? Many people question the ethics of knockoffs and refuse to have anything to do with market stall and internet 'bargains' brands, but the majority see them as a bargain, hunt them out and are delighted with the savings they reckon they've made. In the same way that smokers know that smoking can kill them, people who buy fakes know they are illegal, but kid themselves that it doesn't really do any harm. What I've done is to use my experiences as a marketing strategist and a committed shopper to give a reader some business, sociological and personal context; I hope to make people think twice before they buy any branded product, genuine or counterfeit. Even if you don't consider youself to be brand conscious, after reading The Fake Factor you'll probably still find yourself asking a few more questions the next time you visit the supermarket. (That's my heartfelt hope!) The French manufacturers' association consider Highland Spring Water and all others packaged in green, pear shaped, glass bottles to be counterfeits of Perrier. If you get a dressmaker to copy a new Chanel design, is that illegal? How about if you make 50 and sell them to your friends? What about if you sew on a Chanel logo? Even the intellectual property lawyers can't decide. In the US it's legal to import a counterfeit handbag from China - but just the one. In France you could go to prison. Interpol, the anti-counterfeiting groups and anti-terrorist organisations won't make any progress catching the criminals behind counterfeit goods until we all stop buying them. It's down to us to make our own decisions about where to draw the line in the business of copying and counterfeiting other people's work.

The plan is that The Fake Factor will help you to make your mind up where you stand on the issue (particularly if you didn't realise it was an issue in the first place).

About the Author

Sarah McCartney is best known for writing The Lush Times, the house magazine for Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. As a maverick marketer she advises companies on how to do well in business by keeping customers very happy. As a member of the 26 management team she has contributed chapters to 26 Letters and From Here to Here, both published by Cyan. She is also a qualified teacher of Iyengar yoga and regards to two sides of her career as perfectly compatible as long as you do them both for the right reasons.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The fun side of the fake factor 2 Dec 2005
I was lucky enough to get a preview copy of this book...and I think it's written with knowledge and humour and takes a good look at the branded world we currently live in - I love all the references to the fashion brands and I would equally enjoy reading this book now or in years to come, as it provides a memorable window into the world we (or at least I!!) live in...I'm sure at some point I'll re-read this with a nostalgic glint in my eye...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fresh perspective 7 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sarah McCartney brings a refreshingly clear approach to a complex subject, in particular the role of brands in creating demand for fakes. Essential reading for those charged with understanding and managing counterfeiting issues. The principles extend well beyond the luxury goods focus and apply to almost all sectors beset by counterfeit contamination.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't underestimate this book 12 Nov 2006
By Reader
This book has a funny title. But it was one of the most engrossing and important books that I have read. For anyone who works in marketing, it offers a fresh perspective on way consumers behave the way they do today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't fake it 23 Mar 2008
I read this book about a year ago and then recently watched a two part documentary on UK TV about the fake industry which reminded me about this book. This is a thought provoking book that will make you think and think again when next on holiday being offered handbags or clothing at ridiculously cheap prices. As for the so-called tax-free goods like cameras and binoculars you get in some holiday hot spots, how many of these are just counterfeits made ins some sweat shop in a developing economy? Read this book, get a conscience!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a riveting read 28 Dec 2005
By A Customer
I read this book in one sitting. Who would have thought a book about business and branding would have been such a page turner? A great book for an interested amateur like myself, a compulsory text for students studying fashion or business. I felt as if I had sat down with the author and had an enlightening conversation. I value this authors opinion, and this book has helped me re-evaluate and formulate my own.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think Before You Buy that Gucci Bag 5 Dec 2005
I've alawys been rather intrigued by the knock-off and fake goods racket and how it can bring a prestige brand to its knees: Louis Vuitton being one of the most conspicuous. Mind you casting my mind back to 70s pictures of Liz Taylor in her lumpiest incarnation surrounded by a suite of LV luggage was surely as bad for the brand's reputation as is the wholescale chav adoption of Burberry check today. Any way, back to Sarah McCartney's book - The Fake Factor is unsurprisingly readable, given her day job turning out the ever-entertaining Lush Times, but also thought provoking. The interesting thing I've found is, in contrast to the other books out there about the organised crime dimensions to the Fake market, this book made me question buying into brands at all. I'd get a copy and slip it into any over-labeled friend's christmas stocking! No logos, please...
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