Trickle-down effect

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This article is about the marketing phenomenon. For the political term, see trickle-down economics.

The trickle-down effect is a marketing phenomenon that affects many consumer goods. Initially a product may be so expensive that only the wealthy can afford it. Over time, however, the price will fall until it is inexpensive enough for the general public to purchase.[1]

When applied to fashion, this theory states that when the lowest social class, or simply a perceived lower social class, adopts the fashion, it is no longer desirable to the leaders in the highest social class.[2]

The theory also exists in social behavior. For instance, the urban middle and upper class of Europe adopted the bicycle, both for distinction purposes and for the green values it represents,[3] in contrast to everyone's polluting car. Street designs are increasingly bicycle-friendly, with bikeways, cycling infrastructure. Some cities even decide to fund a public bicycle sharing system.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Georg Simmel. "Fashion." International Quarterly, Vol. 10 (1904). pp. 130-150.
  2. ^ Retailing Management. 7 ed. Michael Levy and Barton A. Weitz. (2009). publisher: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
  3. ^ Gaboriau (1991) (French)