Do you feel guilty buying name brand products instead of the cheaper, generic, ones?

July 25, 2009

in marketing at work

Well, I do. Especially after watching the Rosanne episode of Home-Ec where she gave Darlene’s home-ec class a field trip to the grocery store, I’ve always felt quite guilty reaching for the NAME BRAND product instead of the generic, store-brand next to it, the one that is shouting loudly from its display:

COMPARE TO NAME BRAND NEXT TO ME HERE, practically the same stuff and at 50% of the cost! Only a sucker and a snob will pick him over me!

Reaching for the name brand would BRAND myself as a snob, an irrational person easily duped by flashy marketing, a bourgeois with too much money to spare… So what if the generic brand would ONLY save me a dollar? A penny saved is a penny, how does that saying go again?

(Watch from 4:20)

Something happened recently that absolved me from the guilt associated with the Rosanne Home-ec guilt…

In my last post I made fun of the confusing instructions that came with the Walgreen ant baits. Turned out that the instructions were not the only one that did not work… The Walgreen generic ant bait cost $0.50 less than the name brand, RAID. I dutifully purchased the generic brand, esp. at this economy, I wanted to show that I was not a frivolous consumer. Well, guess what? It does not work!!!

The idea of an ant bait is that it is supposed to attract the ants to go inside the thingy. That is the most important step. In fact, that is the first step, and the ONLY step an ant bait is supposed to accomplish.

After I put on the black housing on the floor, I watched the ants walk around it. Yup. They WALKED AROUND the darn thing! I tried to nudge them with chopsticks in that direction. They kept on during around, or, walked OVER the housing. They had no interest getting into the hole.

I finally gave up and got the ones made by RAID. And they worked like a charm. Or at least, they worked the way ant baits were supposed to work: the ants swarmed the new baits I put down on the floor, while ignoring the old ones.

Hallelujah! Tide laundry detergent, I am getting you next time I am at Costco!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

The Absence of Alternatives August 6, 2009 at 9:00 am

Hello my sushi-loving friend! I actually read somewhere that NAME Brand allergy meds always work better than the generic ones. So you are on the right track! 🙂


Yuko C. Murray August 5, 2009 at 8:37 am

Hey emma_zero here. LOL It's been a mystery to me that when genetic brands claim their ingredients are exactly the same as name brands it just doesn't perform the same. Especially OTC medications. Have you noticed? It makes me feel like it's all in my head. Well when it comes to allergy med, if my head thinks it's working better, then that's all that matters. LOL


Fernweher July 29, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Sometimes name brand stuff is the same quality as store brand, like with cleansers and cheese. But in some things the store brand does not compete. I don't buy store brand toilet paper because it is rough and falls apart, and just yesterday I was looking for store brand cereal but they only have 1/3 the nutrients as Total or Multi Grain Cheerios.
Smart shopping is the only way to go.


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