Did you know that if you use an Apple computer, you may actually be more creative because the Apple brand stands for creativity?
Did you know that using a generic cell phone battery can make you feel less attractive than a name brand?

Honestly, I had no idea any of this was true. So I was very surprised when I read this article by Heidi Grant Halvorsan in Huffington Post this week about how our use of certain brands can have an impact on our behavior and self-esteem.

I have always thought that when we have a strong foundation of core values, our self-esteem is less influenced by external factors. A strong sense of self is like our rudder in a storm; always keeping us on track and focused. The studies cited in this article, however, demonstrate that we can be easily distracted and set off course by simply using generic versus well-known trusted brands.

Most of us assume that this sort of thing stops in childhood — when being given the less expensive version of the toy, sneakers or designer jeans you really wanted is a source of embarrassment as well as disappointment. These studies suggest that as adults we continue to unconsciously see our own worth to some extent as a function of whether or not we buy, or are given, the “good version” of the products we use.

What do you think? Do you feel more attractive wearing designer clothes? I know this was definitely true for me at one point in time. My wardrobe contributed to my sense of accomplishment and I admit I probably felt more attractive. Now I feel better if I find a bargain and save money. The savings makes me feel better about myself.

What’s the message here? Should I now coach all my clients to buy only the best recognized brands if they want to increase their self-esteem? If they want to be creative, do they need to buy an Apple computer? Are we really that easily influenced or is it because we don’t have a strong sense of self and self-worth that we can be swayed by such seemingly shallow actions? Or is it that these products have done such an amazing job convincing us that their brand will change our lives for the better?

I’m really not sure that we need to buy the most expensive and the  “best version” of every products to feel better about ourselves. Maybe just being aware of the impact that advertising has on us is enough.

What are your thoughts? How strong is your sense of self-worth connected to the products you purchase?

Is it possible to discover and connect with your own values regardless of the brands you use?