Thursday, September 23, 2010

Noodling on Name Brands

As I was making my first cuppa tea this morning I started making a grocery list. I've thought about it before but something about the list triggered a repeat morning musing on the use of name brands in our vocabulary.

My list has "Tide" on it, "Kleenex", and a few other name brands. I do use some of the name brands on the list, but in most cases I'm happy with whatever is on sale, or I am attached to a new brand. When I go to the "Kleenex" aisle, for instance, I buy Puff with lotion. Before I settled in on Puff I usually bought whatever was on sale. I like Kleenex, but cost usually rules. I got stuck on Puff's with lotion when I had a lingering cold, the kind that keeps your nose red and raw. It was the best. I will also grab a few boxes of a store brand or something on sale to keep in the closet for those who could care less or prefer no lotion.

We also use Tide. I grew up in a Tide family, ditto for my hubby. I had long since moved away from sticking with the brand before we got married, but not so for my husband. I'm fine with using it because that's what he prefers, even though there are others I've found that are less expensive and do just as well. When it's on sale I stock up.

Many of us simply go down the aisles and pick up the name brands. We do it for a number of reasons. It's what we grew up using and we don't even consider changing. We trust the brand. We like it better than others. We get good coupons. We believe the commercials. I guess there are probably some studies that have been done with more insightful and scientific reasons, but those are the ones that popped into my head during my morning tea fixin'.

It is interesting though that whether we actually buy or use the name brands some brands are forever identified with a type of product. Some people don't think peanut butter, they think Jiff and that's what they say.

Soda is 'Coke', 'Pepsi" or... pop, cola or any other number of names. In the south though, home of Coca-Cola, your more apt to hear "gonna grab a coke" even when they're reaching for a Kroger brand knock-off.

I've found that many have loyalty to their mayonnaise brand. It's not real unless it's Helmans... or Duke... For some it's not mayonnaise at all, it's Miracle Whip. Toilet paper? Oh, man, I could probably write a dissertation on toilet paper attachment!

In this day of having a store-full of choices for sneakers (Keds?) it has to be hard if not impossible for a company to garner the kind of loyalty they did in days past. We've gone from one to three TV stations to having hundreds and hundreds. We've learned to ignore advertising because it's in and on everything. Great commercials stick in the old brain, but many times we remember the commercial but the brand doesn't stick. Marketing has become a science.... and a very expensive venture.

Check your vocabulary. How many name brands are a part of your day-to-day thinking and speech? Have your kids picked up the same habits? Do you still use many of those name brands?

No comments: