Makes me think of that bbc comedy'w1a' and the one before that on the olympics ...it's all about the 'brand' message and not just what it is . My wife is a store manager for a large DIY store over the years it has amazed me how they have tried to rebrand themselves. Coming from family of shopkeepers they appear to focus so much on what i call corporate bollocks and less about their function, to sell cans of paints and screws to people well.
I like to think I buy stuff that serves their function rather than boast my standing but I guess if I'm honest I am guilty of retail snobbery. I rather pay more and shop at waitrose than 'slum' it at the pound store even if I am broke most of the time.
So yes it is a very interesting topic that can overlap into why we buy what we buy and deal with the companies we do.
I believe that it matter not what we do as long as we understand that ultimately it really doesn't matter universally. I can buy a Apple computer and feel good about my cool hip purchase just as long behind that shallow ego thought, I'm rooted to the truth it's just stuff and it means nothing....