Home » Archive » Upper-class, middle class, lower class

, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

I’ve kept thinking about Albert and two things he told me.

1. At this level, brand doesn’t matter, it’s all about reputation.
2. I don’t blog because it gets me the wrong kind of client.

Where brand doesn’t matter. It’s a great title for a philosophy (and sweet name for a book).

I should have seen it coming. It’s everywhere. Look at milk: cream, milk, water. Look at earth: sky, water, ground. Look at music: rockstar, musician, Britney Spears.

Upper-class, middle class, lower class.

Those at the bottom are the average sheep. Those in the middle are micro-global-branders and the regular sort of branders. And those at the top … well we don’t hear about them unless we buy from them (or sneak into their stores).

The creators Albert buys from are so keenly aware of this, they won’t sell to him unless he shows a list of other creators he has bought from. There’s a sharp sense of differentiation — the line is cut on reputation.

Reputation in turn defines clientelle. You don’t pay $750 for frames unless you value design more than … well, actually being able to see. And, let’s face it, there aren’t too many people like that. But Albert made it crystal clear that he only wanted people that were like that.

There’s a nuance here that shouldn’t be missed. Albert isn’t being crusty. Remember, I was wearing Gap jeans, a tee, and my drooling son. Albert is being exclusive on palette only — and wonders if blogging would draw in people that lack a sufficiently refined palette to appreciate his stuff.

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