Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When is identity shopping relevant?

Shopping and to build ones identity through diffferent types of consumtion has been a fact for almost a hundred years by now.But the creation of a personal identity through shopping and by means of brands, starts much earlier today than was the case only 20 years ago. Children at early ages demands, and sometimes get, branded outfits, and almoste every fashion brand have a childrens line. Mobile phones has become another fashion item even at young age.

Children have a larger influence for the priorities of the familys consuption as whole and the tweenie-factor has got a lot of attention the last couple of years.

During their teens, youngster go through a more or less desperate struggle for freedom, and while the phase of childhood is all about fitting in to the family, the teens is all about fitting out of the family and defining oneself outside of the pattern beeing chosen by someone else. This is a fulltime priority for any teenager. Teenagers i the Western world have, of course an abundance of tools for expression through clothing, sports, ,music, technology and so on.

During the early years of adolescence the focus of personal branding shifts somewhat from the person itself to other areas of consumtion like the first own apartment etc. When an "real" relation with a partner becomes a priority "I" get a lesser focus to the benefit of "We". Compromise and nesting comes first, and "self-issues" are often set aside for building the common good.

Troughout the western world divorces and separations are common, and today, a person most often have several of closer or familylike relationship during a lifetime, leading to mixed families comprising of parts of several other families, sometimes on a part time basis as children spend time with the other parent.

The changes in life causes the re-discovering of "I" out of the "We"-context a multitude of times during lifetime, as one have to re-define oneself after a long period of compromising and taking the wellbeing of other people into consideration while beeing in a relationship.

When passing to a new "age", ie into the 30s, 40s or 50s, sometimes a crisis occur as a result of a sudden focus on the self and what the achievments in life have been som far. During later stages in life, when the family situation again allows for reflection, the needs for self expression are more balanced, not uncommonly directed to projecting a younger mind and the result of ones achievment, the "monument" over once life.

The Path of Life could be used for understanding and discussing how the need of self branding at different stages in life differ, and at what points self branding is more important than other.o