There is no one specific factor which can explain why we spend so much on brand name items, rather the scenario is a combination of several. These factors range from the effective brainwashing of advertising, to the fact that we have a certain snobbish value at times about resorting to buying any form of cheaper variety of a product, regardless of how much it may save us and how equally efficient or acceptable it may prove to be.
The world of advertising has of course been with us for centuries but in the age of the telecommunications revolution it has of course taken off like no one could previously have imagined. First of all it was billboards and newspapers that tried to sell us products in this way, then radio commercials and TV commercials took over the mantle to a certain extent. With the advent of the Internet, advertising for particularly brand name products invades our lives in so many ways on a daily basis to an extent that we virtually cannot avoid them without locking ourselves in a darkened, sound-proofed room.
As advertising has grown, so too have the advertising agencies’ abilities to convince us of the merits of their products. As the big brand names are those produced by the companies with the largest advertising bills, these brand names are frequently promoted while at the same time rubbishing the quality of their competitors. This is usually a very subtle process, of course, or lawsuits would be the likely outcome, but it is amazing how this can be achieved without resorting to any form of underhand tactics.
As these brand name products grow in popularity in this fashion, a social stigma develops within society regarding using cheaper varieties of the products, such as a supermarket’s own brand. Many do not want to be seen buying these cheaper products, especially where they may be likely to encounter friends or acquaintances in the supermarket. Keeping up appearances is very important to a lot of people.
What we also have to take in to account with brand names is that very often the product which we see advertised on the TV does not quite resemble that which we purchase at the supermarket and return home with. Tricks of lighting, clever camera work and even artificial product representations are all used in the advertising industry on occasion to effectively sell products to the unsuspecting consumer.
The only way therefore to spend less on brand name products is to actively sample cheaper product varieties. We may find that these products are just as good – if not in fact better – than the brand name in our opinion and we will then have the additional benefit of having saved ourselves some money in to the bargain.