Branding Animals

I say, the power of branding is absolutely amazing. I mean, never mind the consistent quality idea of having a brand, but just that the brand can instill a certain perceived value in a product. There isn't really much added cost in a nice design / style, or even in the cost of materials / manufacturing / distribution, unless there was a serious quality difference.

I'm reminded of a recent trip home, when we walked into a number of stores. Tiger Woods golf shirts going for $100 CAD, where other Nike Golf ones were $60 CAD. Chanel purse for $1650 CAD -- Coach purses are $200 CAD, in contrast. I mean, I'm sorry? $1650 for a purse?? And you can't tell me they spent more on the design -- those purses (almost every model) were quite ugly, in my fashion opinion. I mean, butt ugly, as in not even worth $100.

So exactly how does one build a brand up to such a point, where the object itself really doesn't matter anymore? Where they can make things as ugly as they like, and people will still cut their legs off to buy it??