Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What the hell is a lifestyle brand???

Never mind that in HK having a life and making a living is hard enough, the marketeers are now trying to sell us "lifestyle" brands and products.
The concept of "lifestyle" is so wacko even they can't define it.
Ok, let's just look at one example. Kosmo, a New York chain of cafes that is now going global. These cafes are popping up not only in HK, but in China too.
Their website, and brochures (forget the trees) claim " Kosmo is a wellness lifestyle brand. We are what we eat, what we think, what we drink, and what we do. Wellness is simply doing the things that keep you well. Eat well. Sleep well. Laugh well. Work well. Rest well. Think well. Wellness is not a new idea. But it's an idea whose time has come. The world is waking up to wellness."
Let's pause for a moment. Whose wellness are we talking about? Probably the chain's owner. Certainly not mine. How could a HK$ 30 fruit juice made of frozen fruit be better than a freshly squeezed one sold for HK$10 by a lady with a juicer working out of a stall? Not only the juices are made of frozen fruit, but they are sold in cafes pasted with slogans such as "Do good, feel good". Please spare me your corporate mission. It's bullshit and sounds Orwellian. I don't care if they donate 10 or 50 cents to charities. Why don't they pay their staff a decent wage first? The lower the wages, the more charitable all these corporations become. Workers deserve decent wages, not charity. Poverty is a by-product of skewed labour relations, not some kind of inevitable accident. Charities make poverty sound like a law of nature. You are poor, they feel sorry for you and hand you a crumb of their pie, for which you are supposed to be eternally grateful. This logic makes me sick.

You walk into any of these Kosmo cafes, pay through your nose for some crappy juice with a quirky name like "Berry Buzz", which comes ina disposable plastic cup and you are supposed to buy into their corporate mantra "Wellness is more than simply taking care of our stomach. It's about feeling good about ourselves, and this, we believe, can best be achieved by doing good things and good deeds, helping others, and caring for Mother Earth." Yeah, right.

Business with a soul, they call it. The religious overtones are just as sickening. Can anybody show me a religious text stating that businesses have a soul? If so, is it a collective or an individual soul? Would they need to confess and repent to go to heaven? Or maybe they believe in re-incarnation, or the transmigration of the soul? What religion did they buy into, apart from "In the almighty dollar we trust"?

1 comment:

Guilherme said...

Oh, Bella, you hopeless cynic...