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Generic? Harumph!

March 15, 2011

While on the way back from dropping E at school, I heard something

Photo courtesy of The Miami Herald

interesting on the radio…

“Women feel sexier just by holding a Victoria’s Secret shopping bag.”

You know…the super cute pink striped bags that usually have new skivvies inside?

It’s true. According to a study released by the University of Minnesota,  the American public at large buys into brand names and these brand names can largely influence how people feel about themselves.

Consumerism run rampant, if you ask me!

While I admit that I myself feel rather adorable when I have a Victoria’s Secret bag on my arm while shopping,  I also purchase the majority of my undies at Target.

Why? Because I don’t have a Victoria’s Secret budget.

I buy a lot of generic and store-brand items simply because I learned from my parents that this was one easy way to save money.

Not that every single thing I buy is store-brand or generic, but when I do splurge on a big, brand-name item I think I actually get more satisfaction out of it.

The point of this post is really to call attention to the idea that people now seem to base much of their value on the brand that they wear, eat, or use.

No wonder the American public at large is in debt!

I realize that habits are hard to change but today I challenge you to choose one thing in your life that you are brand-loyal to, and try the generic version of that.

We’ll discuss at the end of the month.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve permalink
    March 15, 2011 2:02 pm

    While you’re thinking about this ‘brand loyalty’ stuff, ask yourself these questions:

    Do you want a Xerox of that paper, or just a copy?
    Do you blow into a Kleenex, or just a tissue?
    Would you like to play with a Frisbee, or just a flying disc?
    Wanna sit in to a Jacuzzi, or just a hot tub?
    Do you require a Band-aid, or an adhesive strip with gauze?
    Do you drink from a Styrofoam cup, or just a polystyrene cup?
    Would you eat Jello, or a gelatin dessert?
    Do you put your food in Baggies, or just a small plastic bag?
    Do you put your trash in a Dumpster, or just a waste container?
    Have you ever washed your clothes at a Laundromat, or just a laundry facility?

    Other examples include, but are not limited to: AstroTurf, Beer Nuts, Breathalyzer, Brillo Pads, Dacron, Hi-Liter, Hula-Hoop, Jeep, Jockey Shorts, Kitty Litter, Liquid Paper, Magic Marker,Muzak, Novocain, Ping-Pong, Play-Doh, Popsicle, Post-it Note, Q-Tip, Realtor, Rollerblade, Scotch Tape, Scrabble, Seeing Eye (dog), Sheetrock, Slim Jim, Super glue, Technicolor, Teflon, TelePrompTer, Vaseline, Velcro, and Walkman.

    …and there are HUNDREDS more examples! The point is, these companies spend MILLIONS to make us think however they want us to thing, and in large it works!

    And yet another great example is diamonds vs pearls. In the early 1900’s, no one cared about diamonds, but pearls were the most precious thing ever! That’s why grandma revered her pearls as much as she did. Then, when the cartels started pushing diamonds, they cut back on the quantity available and started ad campaigns that equated love to diamonds and forever and snow and beauty… suddenly diamonds are the next best thing!

    Did you know that tulip bulbs were at one point the most prized thing traded on the stock market and was a determining factor in your status within your community? TULIPS!!

    People are nuts… but I do enjoy the point that you raise. My recommendation is to not listen to or watch commercials when you can get away with it. You’ll still be bombarded by advertising EVERYWHERE you look, but it will cut down on the REALLY stupid ones.

    Another example that amazes me is the use of the term coke in the south. If you go into a restaurant and ask for a coke, they’ll ask what kind. Coke has become a descriptor for any carbonated soft drink (sprite, 7-up, root beer, pepsi, etc). Now THAT’s advertising!!

    • March 16, 2011 12:12 pm

      I agree with what you’re saying…we are definitely inundated with advertising that causes certain products to become the brand we associate an item, no matter how many names it may go by, with. As consumers, we really need to start being more aware of these ploys, because this is what parts us from our money a little more quickly.

      I won’t say that all generic products are just as good as the name brand, but testing new things to figure out what works for you just as well may make a noticeable dent in the outgo portion of your budget.

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