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DO YOU FAKE?

If a brand produces its own fake brand, is it a fake fake brand?

Let's talk about something new. Or, two new things, to be more specific.
The first is me. 
No, I'm not being arrogant or self-centred. Seeing as we're talking about new things, I thought it only right to include myself.
My name is Federica, I'm 23 years old, Bergamo born and bred.
I'm not the newest arrival, but I'm officially the youngest at Itaca. The youngest, but certainly not the smallest: I'm almost 1 m 75 cm tall (I say almost, because I'm not sure if I quite reach 175 cm or not).

The other new thing has to do with the word Fake. 
I challenge you to find anyone who hasn't heard the term being used over the last few months.
But I don't want to simply join the chorus lamenting the big problem of fake news and the inability of people, especially on social networks, to distinguish a real news story from a false one. What I want to talk to you about today concerns a Fake Fake. (now try and say that 6 times or more in quick succession, go on).
...You tried it, didn't you? But now that's enough of all that:
lets move on to more serious matters.
I want to tell you about an innovative marketing idea. 
At the start of February, a new store opened on New York's Canal Street. A typical local shop, it sells counterfeit goods, has neon signs, "buy 1 get 1 free" emblazoned all over the place in untidy handwriting, baskets full of clothes and jeans thrown in at random, t-shirts sporting the word Deisel. Nothing unusual so far.

It certainly isn't the typical hangout of New York's fashion bloggers during fashion week - which was indeed taking place at the time. 

But this wasn't your typical knock-off clothing store. 

This was a fake Deisel store created by Diesel itself! It was a fake fake store!

In the home of counterfeit fashion, Diesel decided to open a pop-up store, creating its own fake brand and making everything seem as real as real could be. 

The store only stayed open for two days. 
The lucky visitors found white T-shirts with a red "Deisel" logo, "Deisel" jeans in all colours and sizes and sweaters wrapped in individual plastic bags, untidily piled up on the shelves.

When Diesel revealed that the fraudulent shop was actually full of authentic products, a long queue immediately formed outside the store, full of curious shoppers anxious to get their hands on one of the 1000 unique pieces in the collection. 
A Deisel sweatshirt sold in the fake store for  $60 was sold on a few days later for over $500.

But why would a brand like Diesel create a fake brand and open a pop-up store? 
Because for the last few years, Diesel has failed to attract the attention of young people
Selling a product isn't enough. The newer generations look for something beyond the product, something that represents them. For them, personal branding is key. It doesn't matter what you wear, as long as it represents you!
Diesel realised that their target market was stuck in a higher age bracket, and that they weren't managing to attract younger buyers. In just a few days, with a highly innovative marketing idea, the brand managed to get people talking, and suddenly, the world's young fashion victims all wanted to wear Diesel. 

But there's also another aspect, more specific to the brand and its value. The question of counterfeit clothing. The fake clothing market is ever-growing, especially on social media. It seems impossible, but there are over 20,000 Instagram accounts worldwide, posting photos of 14 million counterfeit luxury items. 
And that's only on Instagram. 

It might seem strange that giants like Facebook, Instagram, Amazon or even Google are not able to control the sale of counterfeit products online and that it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify and put an end to these markets. Most online sellers of counterfeit goods are based in China, Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Ukraine, and the brands most affected by counterfeiting are Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Gucci, for clothing, Rolex and Cartier for accessories. 
For example, according to the Social Media and Luxury Goods Counterfeit study, about a fifth of all items labelled as luxury goods on Instagram are fake. 
The trend illustrates how the platform is contributing to the explosion of the internet counterfeit economy, which uses a system of online tools to ship illegal goods worldwide.
The economist.com performed a study of the most counterfeited goods by goods sector. It is clear that the fashion industry is the most affected, followed by electronics.

Diesel created Deisel, a fake fake brand, mimicking its own logo and reproducing it like so many abusive sellers and "digital fakers" do on a daily basis. 

Is this the solution to the problem of counterfeit goods?

If you want to find out more about social media-based counterfeiting, you'll find an article from the World Economic Forum here

#staycool