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  #1  
Old 05-31-2002, 01:27 PM
Kristian Kristian is offline
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Why do people prefer name-brand products?

Hi, all. I'm writing a paper and I need some input from some other brains. Can you give me reasons why people prefer to buy name-brand products over their generic counterparts? Thanks

Kristian
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2002, 02:11 PM
kattymitts kattymitts is offline
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Is this for a scholarship? Just curious..
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2002, 02:26 PM
rjung rjung is offline
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My two cents...

Probably for the perception (real or imagined) that the name-brand product has a higher quality than the generic. For instance, I prefer Apple Macintosh computers over generic Intel-based PCs, partially because Apple's stuff is more durable, better engineered, and has a better resale value than the generic PC. Since this perception is borne out by years of actual experience using the product, I am nore likely to buy Apple computers again in the future.

Conversely, when I know there is no difference between the generic item and the brand-name, then I will probably buy the generic to save money. For instance, since I know that the supermarket's "Colored Rings" cereal is the same as Kellogg's "Fruit Loops" (to the point of being from the same assembly line), I can buy the generic without any worries about lowered quality. I don't usually buy generic medicines because I don't have a feeling of assurance that the generic is just as good as the commercial brand; if I did, I probably would.

(And this thread should probably be in IMHO, since you appear to be soliciting opinions)
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  #4  
Old 05-31-2002, 03:07 PM
Netbrian Netbrian is offline
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I've always thought it was because people simply think that if they've heard of a product more, it's likely to be better. "Oh, if the company can advertise so much, and if so many other people use it, this product has to be better than the others!"
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Old 05-31-2002, 03:26 PM
WillGolfForFood WillGolfForFood is offline
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The marketing folks I know use the term "perceived value" (which may or may not be related to value of other types). The perceived value to a brand-name product above that of its generic counterpart may be due to the belief that its made of higher quality material, that the quality control was higher during its manufacture, that it's better backed in terms of returnability / warranty, all sorts of things.

I for one tend to purchase purchase brand-name cars, but generic computers.
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Old 05-31-2002, 03:57 PM
Stupendous man Stupendous man is offline
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I would say that the reasononing for me goes along the lines of "If a product is on the shelves long enough to develope what we perceive to be a "brand name", it must obviously have a higher degree of quality than other similar products that are not yet as widely known. Inferior products are recalled, don't sell, are removed, or changed."
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2002, 04:11 PM
Palo Verde Palo Verde is offline
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I think it's an issue of trust and security. If I shop at a new grocery store and I see Jiffy peanut butter and the store brand, I KNOW shat I'm getting from Jiffy, but the store brand is and unknown. I don't have to risk getting bad peanut butter.

Another issue is many people think higher cost = higher quality. This brand of frozen peas costs 20% more so they must put in 20% better quality peas.

Personally I buy store brands of almost everything.
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Old 05-31-2002, 04:20 PM
Cheesesteak Cheesesteak is offline
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Also, one may count on the quality of a name brand product being consistent regardless of where one buys it. A bag of Wise potato chips is the same from store to store, but WalMart's chips may be very different than another store's chips. Not to mention that I would expect a generic item to change suppliers more readily than a name brand. For instance, WalMart might change their chip supplier from year to year, Wise will not.

In rjung's case, he would be bitterly disappointed if his supermarket changes cereal supplier and the colored rings don't taste the same anymore.
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Old 05-31-2002, 04:24 PM
astorian astorian is offline
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People's reasons vary, depending on the circumstances.

For example, when I do my weekly grocery shopping, I generally try to play it cheap. I buy generics and/or store brands, and I clip coupons. If I buy a name brand product, as opposed to a cheaper alternative, it's because I've tried alternatives over the years, and have found that I like the name product better.

I mean, there's no good reason to buy a famous brand of aspirin (or other pain reliever) when there's a much cheaper generic using the identical formula. And in my experience, granulated sugar is granulated sugar, flour is flour, milk is milk, eggs are eggs... I can't think of any good reason to pay more for a name brand in those cases.

But in other cases, taste enters into it. SOME people will insist that, say, the cola from Wal-mart or the local supermarket is "just as good" or "just the same" as Coke or Pepsi, but I think they're insane. To me, Hebrew National hot dogs taste WAY better than cheaper brands, and they're worth the extra cost.

*

There ARE times, however, when I'll choose a "name brand" over an unknown brand simply because I'm familiar with the product. Example? Well, if I'm on a long drive through Texas, and pass through a town whose only restaurants are a McDonald's and a Joe'd Diner, I'm likely to go to McDonald's. The food won't be great, but at least I KNOW exactly what I'll be getting. If there are two gas stations, an Exxon and a generic convenience store, I'll go to the Exxon station, even if it costs more, just because I KNOW what I'm getting.

I'd never select a higher-priced product simply BECAUSE it costs more, but I may well select a name-brand product I'm familiar with over a cheaper product by a company I'm NOT familiar with.
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  #10  
Old 05-31-2002, 04:45 PM
Neptune Neptune is offline
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Is this just a rationalization?

One is being comfortable with what I know.
I would prefer eating at McDonald's and knowing what to expect, than to go to a strange restaurant that may serve better or worse food.

Two is knowing there's support to back up the sale.
If I buy the no-name product, will they still be there a year from now when it breaks, will they have the resources to help me?
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2002, 05:07 PM
Ottto Ottto is offline
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Like RJUNG, I go with name brand where I feel quality matters, and generic in other areas.

I recently purchased a HDTV and home theater system. Since I don't know much about those things, but I didn't want to get lousy quality, I went all Sony. Dunno if Sony is the best, but I have several of their products, all of which are good enough for me. Who knows if Panasonic or some 'lesser' name would have been good enough?

I think that is the reason we go with name brand: We know (or think we know), roughly, what we are getting.
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  #12  
Old 05-31-2002, 05:31 PM
SuaSponte SuaSponte is offline
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Branding is one of the greatest powers a consumer has over business. A name-brand has value only if (through personal or common experience) the brand indicates quality.

And this value is immense, so the manufacturer has to maintain that quality. Because, if a brand becomes associated with poor quality, the company can't regain that trust (and therefore make sales).

The Schlitz case is a prime example of this. Schlitz was a decent beer, with good brand identification. The manufacturers thought that the Schlitz brand reputation was sufficient, and changed the ingredients of their beer to cheaper inputs. Sales plummetted, and didn't come back even after Schlitz changed their formula back - because the brand had become associated with poor quality.

Sua
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  #13  
Old 05-31-2002, 05:51 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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I don't think the difference in quality is always merely percieved; Heinz tomato ketchup is a superior product to a great many own-brand ketchups; Heinz make a big deal about the quality of ingredients (and the recipe itself - it typically contains a lot more tomato than other brands). Heinz have an interest in maintaining their position in the market; this gives them an incentive to prevent quality from slipping.
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2002, 06:01 PM
Jibby7 Jibby7 is offline
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Another thing branding does, which was not noted yet, is give a product a personality, which allows us dumb humans to identify with it better. In other words, it allows you to view a product as something of a "trusted friend".
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  #15  
Old 05-31-2002, 06:03 PM
Jibby7 Jibby7 is offline
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By the way, I expect to be credited in your foot notes if you use that
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  #16  
Old 06-01-2002, 10:42 AM
markdiscordia markdiscordia is offline
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Quote:
But in other cases, taste enters into it. SOME people will insist that, say, the cola from Wal-mart or the local supermarket is "just as good" or "just the same" as Coke or Pepsi, but I think they're insane.
Wal-Mart and its affiliates buy vast amounts of Pepsi and bottle it themselves in the store brand cans. So does Food Lion. If you want Coke at a cheaper price, buy the store brand at Price Club/Costco. I'm sure many other stores that sell store brand cola do this, but I don't know which supplier any others use.
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  #17  
Old 06-01-2002, 11:29 AM
tracer tracer is offline
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WillGolfForFood wrote:

Quote:
I for one tend to purchase purchase brand-name cars, but generic computers.
Is there such a thing as a generic car?

Will Sears slap a Kenmore label on it?
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  #18  
Old 06-01-2002, 11:58 AM
bernse bernse is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by markdiscordia


Wal-Mart and its affiliates buy vast amounts of Pepsi and bottle it themselves in the store brand cans. So does Food Lion. If you want Coke at a cheaper price, buy the store brand at Price Club/Costco. I'm sure many other stores that sell store brand cola do this, but I don't know which supplier any others use.
I have never heard of coke or pepsi allowing their product to be put in other "store brand" bottles. Do you have a cite on that? I've tried many store brands before and never had any cola taste anything like true Coke or Pepsi.


Reminds me of a comedian I once heard:

Redneck {or insert any other group that gets slammed} goes through a drive-thru, orders a dinner:

"I'd like a coke with that"

"What flavor?"

"Orange"
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  #19  
Old 06-01-2002, 12:19 PM
dal_timgar dal_timgar is offline
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welcome to the machine

mostly stupidity

check the book: THE HIDDEN PERSUADERS by Vance Packard (c)1958

i read somewhere that $57 Billion was spent on advertising in the year 2000. the repetition of commercials programs cidcuits in people's brains. if you consciously watch a commercial and ask yourself what logical information it provided to induce you to buy the product you will usually come up with nothing. TV advertising is psycho-techno-brainwashing. a series about TV in THE ECONOMIST magazine said only 4% of people used VCRs to skip commercials and and article in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN said some people watch 20 hours of TV per week. that could be 4 hours of commercials per week. i've used a VCR to skip commercials ever since STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION came on the air. now i use PIP to switch to news channels when commercials come on in a program i'm watching and switch back when the commercial ends.

use technology to fight technology.

Dal Timgar
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  #20  
Old 06-01-2002, 01:05 PM
Omnivore Omnivore is offline
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I would say quality.
Like, I buy brand name canned vegetables because when I bought the generic, I found them to be of lessor quality mostly. Now, I have noticed a difference in generic over the counter medications. Like I buy the generic Excedrin, and have found that it takes longer to dissolve in water than the real thing. Generic antacids usually are harder to chew and do not taste good. I do buy generic Motrin because I have found no difference there, except for the price being much cheaper.

I have bought generic prescription medications and found them as good as the brand name but a whole lot cheaper in price. In prescription medications, you pay a hell of a lot more for the brand name. Because of strict regulations, the generic has to be of equal quality to the original or brand name drug so buying generic there saves you a bundle of cash.
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  #21  
Old 06-01-2002, 01:37 PM
The Asbestos Mango The Asbestos Mango is offline
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I'll go with the house brand almost every time, simply because they are exactly the same as the brand name product.

The rare exceptions are usually

A) there is no house brand available, or the store is out of stock on it, so I "settle" for the more expensive brand because I have an immediate need for the product.

B) A particular brand was recommended to me by someone who has tried several brands of the same/similar product. I use Alcon Opti-Free contact lens products because a former coworker recommended it. My eyes are kind of sensitive and I had a mild, but unpleasant experience with the Bausch and Lomb product that the vision store gave away free with my contact lenses. The Alcon stuff didn't bother my eyes, and I know the house brand contains the same formula as the Bausch and Lomb stuff, so I stick with what I know my eyes like.

Most people are cattle. I think your average schmuck buys the name brand because "I need peanut butter", and Jif, or Skippy, or whatever they've seen advertised the most appears before them, and people tend to keep buying the same brand over and over. I don't think much thought is put into what brand to purchase.

I'm also a label reader, and I tend to go for the brand that has the fewest ingredients whose names I can't pronounce. My favorite brand of tortilla chips has an ingredients list that consists of "corn, water, salt". They taste a lot better than the better known brands.
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  #22  
Old 06-01-2002, 03:42 PM
rjung rjung is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cheesesteak
In rjung's case, he would be bitterly disappointed if his supermarket changes cereal supplier and the colored rings don't taste the same anymore.
I actually had that happen once with a generic supermarket cereal -- I thought I was getting one thing, but got another instead. Haven't gone back to the generic as a result.

Quote:
Originally posted by tracer
Quote:
I for one tend to purchase purchase brand-name cars, but generic computers.
Is there such a thing as a generic car?
I'm wondering if he drives more than he computes.
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  #23  
Old 06-01-2002, 10:37 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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I can put the generic version in a box of Fruity Pebbles (the Kunilou kids love Fruity Pebbles) and my kids will dump it in the sink after one bite. They swear the generic version is "more lemony."

Generic paper products generally suck. The paper towels fall apart, the toilet paper is thin and the tissues are rough.

A couple of years ago Consumer Reports tested batteries, and determined there WERE differences between brands.

The big issue is not just quality, but consistency. Since generics use whatever manufacturer offers them the best deal at that time, one batch can be different than the rest.

And Tracer, believe it or not, Sears actually did sell a "generic" car (I don't off the top of my head know if they labeled it Kenmore) for a couple of years in the late 1940s or early 1950s. It was a compact made by Crosley (they still make appliances) and believe it or not, it was actually lower quality (cheaper interior) than the "name brand" version.
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  #24  
Old 06-02-2002, 12:04 AM
Doug Bowe Doug Bowe is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by tracer
WillGolfForFood wrote:


Is there such a thing as a generic car?

Will Sears slap a Kenmore label on it?
--Nope! They slapped an Allstate label on it.

http://www.retireessears.com/memories/allstateauto.htm
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  #25  
Old 06-02-2002, 12:20 AM
Dale The Bold Dale The Bold is offline
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The first time I saw "Hyundai" on a car I thought it was Walmart's Honda.
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  #26  
Old 06-02-2002, 05:46 AM
Burnt Sugar Burnt Sugar is offline
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People also buy brand name products to look better in front of people. A teenager will look "cool" if they have the Nike logo across their chest. A mum will show off her new Westinghouse stove to her friends. If a family buys brand name things it looks as though they are very comfortable, not in money trouble.

A lot of it is an image thing.

Personally, with clothes i go out of my way to NOT have big names showing. That's probably silly too though, still being affected by the media, even if I've reacted differently...
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  #27  
Old 06-02-2002, 11:20 AM
Fretful Porpentine Fretful Porpentine is offline
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I buy name-brand products only when I know they're better than the store brand. Store-brand butter and coffee, for instance, just don't taste right. Most other staple foods are fine, but stores tend to do a poor job on luxury or ethnic foods. (I bought generic basmati rice once and wasn't impressed at all -- and don't get me started on ice cream.)

On the other hand, chain restaurants are pretty consistently worse than non-chain ones. If the only choices are McDonalds and Joe's Diner, I'll go for Joe's every time.
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  #28  
Old 06-02-2002, 09:03 PM
grettle grettle is offline
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Quote:
On the other hand, chain restaurants are pretty consistently worse than non-chain ones. If the only choices are McDonalds and Joe's Diner, I'll go for Joe's every time.
I second. Unless I am homesick (as when I travel for long periods of time) and then I will yearn for familiarity, then continue to bask in the culture I am surrounded by.
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  #29  
Old 06-02-2002, 11:26 PM
woolly woolly is offline
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Quote:
should have bought a well-advertised brand
From: Death of a Salesman
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