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Thread: Do name brands matter to you?

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Do name brands matter to you?

    Well, do they? If you're like most people, your answer is probably for some things but not others.

    In what cases does it matter to you?
    - if you're at the grocery store and the store brand of canned green beans costs 2 cents less than Del Monte will you pay the extra two cents for Del Monte?
    - a bottle of Heinz ketchup costs 20 cents more than a generic ketchup, would you pay the extra?
    - you're low on gas and on one side of the street is a Shell station where it's $3.92 a gallon and on the other side is Gas-n-Go where it's $3.91; which do you choose?
    - you owned a Ford Escort 25 years ago and had nothing but trouble with it. 25 years later you're deciding whether to choose between comparably priced economy car models made by Ford or Kia; do you allow your bad experiences with the Ford 25 years ago to sway your decision today?
    - you've dealt with State Farm Insurance for the last 15 years and experienced no particular problems with claims. If Flo said you can save 3% if you buy insurance through her would you jump ship?
    - a 40 of Mickey's Big Mouth costs $3.50, but a 40 of St. Ides costs $3.42 do you pay the extra 8 cents for the mellow taste of Mickeys? (or just go to the drug store across the street where a bottle of Robitussin DM goes for $3.95)?

    For what products does a brand name make a difference to you?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    As far as groceries go, the only thing I've tried where I can taste a noticeable difference between the generic and the name brands are jellies, jams, and preserves. Smuckers preserves just taste better to me than the generic Kroger brand. However, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they come from the same factories but just get a different label slapped on them at the end of the line I admit that it's probably all psychological.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    I have to admit, I don't pay much attention to the name on the packaging at the grocery store for 95% of the stuff I buy there. The 5% of the time that I do care is for items that might contain allergens, so I do pay attention to the label and will pay the extra for the "good" stuff. I usually buy store brand for pantry/stock items, and don't have any problems. I also buy store brand milk, lunch meat, cheese, etc.

    When it comes to shoes, though, I pay the extra for the name brand. I love comfortable shoes, and am always disappointed when cute shoes that fit at the store are not comfortable for a day's work. But when I find the right combo of size, comfort and fit, I go back and buy them in additional colors.

    Same for work shirts. 75% of my button-downs came from the same store. The remainder came from 2 stores. If they make it in a style that works for my body, it looks good, lasts longer than 3 wearings, and comes in my colors, then I buy multiples. I can't stand cheaply made shirts, so I pay extra for the brand name.

    Hubby is more about the name, but it's not that he cares what brand it is. Once he finds something that he likes, he will only buy that version of it, whether it's ketchup, polos, or shoes. He would have no idea about price differences on store-vs-name at the grocery store, but that's OK. I do know that he buys what he likes, so I know he will eat it.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  4. #4
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Yes, if the name brand is of exceptional quality. I would buy a Columbia skiing jacket over a North Face one any day but would never buy a ski coat from Walmart. Likewise, I will buy the store-brand pop if it's cheaper than Coke.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    In what cases does it matter to you?
    - if you're at the grocery store and the store brand of canned green beans costs 2 cents less than Del Monte will you pay the extra two cents for Del Monte? I would never buy canned green beans.
    - a bottle of Heinz ketchup costs 20 cents more than a generic ketchup, would you pay the extra? I would probably pay the 20cents but I never buy ketchup either...
    - you're low on gas and on one side of the street is a Shell station where it's $3.92 a gallon and on the other side is Gas-n-Go where it's $3.91; which do you choose? whichever one is easier to pull in and out of
    - you owned a Ford Escort 25 years ago and had nothing but trouble with it. 25 years later you're deciding whether to choose between comparably priced economy car models made by Ford or Kia; do you allow your bad experiences with the Ford 25 years ago to sway your decision today? Yes! Brand experience is the only real thing we have to go on. If we cannot learn from our experiences than we are doomed! doomed! doomed!
    - you've dealt with State Farm Insurance for the last 15 years and experienced no particular problems with claims. If Flo said you can save 3% if you buy insurance through her would you jump ship? It would depend on whether I expected the services to be the same. I might just call my agent and ask for a discount.
    - a 40 of Mickey's Big Mouth costs $3.50, but a 40 of St. Ides costs $3.42 do you pay the extra 8 cents for the mellow taste of Mickeys? (or just go to the drug store across the street where a bottle of Robitussin DM goes for $3.95)

    Okay, on a serious note, yes they matter. But it isn't the "name" that matters, it is what you get with it. If the convenience, quality, or other important factors are satisfactory or above average, then I am willing to pay more for most things. Particularly when it comes to quality and reliability.

    A great example can be made of my SUP boards that are for sale right now. People who don't know much about SUP boards call and make me half price offers. When I decline, they point to all these new SUPs that are selling for less. Thinking I am a moron and they have out foxed me, they want to know why I won't sell them my board for a better price than the guy selling the new boards for cheaper. The answer is simple. Mine may cost 50% more, but it will last for 20 years. The other boards will last for a year at best and will get water logged, weighing a ton when you go to take them out of the water. In this instance, brand is particularly important. Quality is more important than savings sometimes.
    Occupy Your Brain!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    I typically only buy generics for medicine. Like there was this nasal spray I used to use, the generic was twice the size and cost half of what the name brand did. Though when taste is an issue, generics can sometimes taste awful.

    I stick with named brands since they're things I'm familiar with. I don't want to buy generic Coke since there's a chance it will taste different and I won't like it. With electronics and cloths, I'll normally buy named brands since there's an expectation of quality that I associate with them. Basically I view most generics as just a crap shoot. I'd just rather pay more than risk getting burned on generics.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    I will always buy OREOS over store brand everyday.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Reminding you all that I am on a planner's salary in the non-California western U.S. and that I buy the groceries for a household of 8 and the many, many hungry mouths that come home with the 6 from my loins:

    There is not a generic product on the market that I will not gladly buy and consume.

    Clothes, I buy brands because it matters to the kids and I am trying to buy their love.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Who are these Generic people anyway? They seem to make almost everything. I'd probably buy some stock if they have a Generic IPO.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ursus View post
    Clothes, I buy brands because it matters to the kids and I am trying to buy their love.
    And if that doesn't work out, you can always just return them and buy some new (hopefully more appreciative, attentive, and obediant) kids!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  11. #11
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    For food, I’m a label reader (my failing eyes notwithstanding). If something’s super cheap, I will look at the ingredients and see if there is an obvious reason why. If I see nothing, I’ll go for it.

    For things like clothes, it varies. I’m not a stickler for brand names if it looks good, except for some things like jeans. A good pair of Levis buttonfly, non pre-shrunk is worth the extra money to me because they last so much longer. I would say the same for shoes. A cheap pair of shoes typically doesn’t last all that long. Then you’re really paying more in the long run. I would agree about jackets, too. Middle of the road price or better for a brand name often does equate to a better, longer lasting product.

    Bikes, for example, are definitely worth a brand name. I will never buy a Magna, for example, or any bike from a place like Walmart.

    So, as I write this, I guess brand names maybe matter more to me than I thought. But I typically will go for the middle of the road price range on any big ticket item. I don’t, however, generally notice other people’s stuff and whether it is brand name or not. As with the cleanliness of my house, I am more scrutinizing and judgmental of my own behavior than with others’.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    We are fortunate to shop at Publix. Their generic products are as good as name brand products. The generics are manufactured by the name brands. Just put a different label on the product. The recipe will be slightly different depending on who is ordering the generic.
    I buy name brand clothes because I'm a snob.
    I would never buy generic wine. That would be wrong...and I'm a snob.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  13. #13
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    For food, it depends on the store… I prefer Trader Joe’s store brand for a lot of things, even over name brands at other stores. In my experience they have fewer filler ingredients and are cheaper than the name-brands at other stores (for a lot of the staples and dairy products, not for meats). The only kind of ketchup I like is theirs, because it doesn’t have corn syrup so isn’t overly sweet. If only they sold 40’s. But at regular grocery stores, if the ingredients seem to be the same then I go for the generic/store brand, unless I know from experience that the name brand tastes better. I have tasted some differences between name brand vs. store/generic/cheapo brand…like for pasta sauce, canned soups, and fish sticks. The fish sticks were disgusting, they smelled like cat food!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richmond Jake View post
    We are fortunate to shop at Publix. Their generic products are as good as name brand products. The generics are manufactured by the name brands. Just put a different label on the product. The recipe will be slightly different depending on who is ordering the generic.
    You dog. You know if I came home with Publix mayo, you'd be oh ick. We're a Hellman's family. Plus Heinz ketchup(RJ doesn't care about that) and JIFpeanut butter (he doesn't care about that, either)

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    Name brand matters in matters of coffee and pop. Other than that, I'm open to store brands.
    The cookies are worth the drive

  16. #16
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Comes down to preferred tastes when it comes to food: Premium saltines taste better than the other brands, Heinz tastes better than Hunts (for my son, I hate ketchup), Pioneer Pancake Mix over other brands, etc.

    I like Stafford dress shirts. They just seem to last longer than other pricier shirts and fit well.

    One of the advantages of the internet is I can buy cane syrup (not available locally), Cajun Power Sauce and Tony Chachere products (though you can get their Creole Seasoning most anywhere) online and get them shipped here.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  17. #17
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Having recently cut red meat out of my diet, I've been eating a lot of turkey-substitute products lately, and let me tell you there is a mountain of difference in quality among the different brands of turkey sausage/kielbasa, meatballs, burgers, etc.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I will pay more for stuff I know that is produced in my region or State (I include SW Ontario and NW Ohio in my Economic Region). Those are the brands I prefer. Yes my major appliances are all Whirlpool, I drive a Ford (well Mercury actually), and use Libbey Glassware. I will soon replace my ancien Zenith TV with a locally produced Element TV (even though it is much larger than I need). I figure these companies provide more jobs for my neighbors so I better support them.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  19. #19
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I will pay more for stuff I know that is produced in my region or State (I include SW Ontario and NW Ohio in my Economic Region). Those are the brands I prefer. Yes my major appliances are all Whirlpool, I drive a Ford (well Mercury actually), and use Libbey Glassware. I will soon replace my ancient Zenith TV with a locally produced Element TV (even though it is much larger than I need). I figure these companies provide more jobs for my neighbors so I better support them.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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