So a friend of mine bought a flagship german car instead of the BMW X1 he’s had on his vision board for the past 5 years. I was surprised because I knew he could afford the Beemer but still went will a cheaper (comparatively) alternative. Also, since my friend isn’t the frugal kind (nor is he overly lavish by the way), I had to ask him.
His response was classic, “I had two options, Sunil. Buy a Beemer at the risk of people thinking that I’m pretentious and/or filthy rich or buy an alternative that is almost as expensive and just as good but doesn’t grab attention. I chose the latter because it’s a win-win… I’m not lowering my standards nor do I have to make anyone else jealous.”
I made me think and does make a lot of sense. Sure, swapping a luxury brand/badge for a normal (but prestigious, still) brand may sound like a trade-off but you’ll need to look closer. Notice that the final decision hasn’t made the people around him question his standards, taste, judgement, or the status in the society.