Consumer Product Branding

Product advertising creates false impressions about value and quality and causes people to act irrationally. As a matter of fact it has gotten to the point that people are walking billboards for clothing companies. In my opinion, consumer product branding costs the consumer too much money. Here’s why: In case you don’t already know product branding is when a company takes its product and creates a unique identity for it.

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Then, through various advertising mediums, it iterates and reiterates to people how their product is the best. For example clothing companies like Abercrombie and Fitch(tm) don’t advertise on TV, they advertise on the products themselves. For example I have two Abercrombie(tm) tee-shirts and both of them say ABERCROMBIE across the front in big bold letters. They still are just tee-shirts. And, of course there is the approach that is taken by the Gap(tm), they have lots of TV ads but they don’t make the consumers into walking billboards.

Still there is yet one more approach, it is taken by companies like J.C.Pennys(tm) and that is: to have your own off brand and keep it on sale 24/7 while constantly advertising a new sale even though it is the same old one. Any way all three companies get their point through and are successful, but at Abercrombie(tm) it costs about fifty dollars for a pair of pants, at the Gap(tm) it costs about forty-five dollars, and at J.C.Pennys(tm) it costs about twenty dollars. All for essentially the same pair of khaki pants. Only one difference between the three pair; at Abercrombie(tm) the bottoms come torn up already.

The reason that a pair of pants costs a different amount at one store than the other; and the other; is that: even though each store spends about the same amount on the pants, they all have added costs for advertising that greatly differ. They all have workers and store designs, but some spend more than others. So, for instance Abercrombie(tm) spends little money on ads, but tons of money on the insides of each store. I.e. they seem to create new posters every month or so for the inside of the stores, and matching bags, all of which is reflected in the prices.

The Gap(tm), however, spend little money on store interiors, except that they do buy signs for the windows when a new product, print or pattern comes to stores or is coming into style. They too are constantly getting new bags that match the signs. But, foremost, they spend money on TV time, which is reflected again in the prices. Finally there is the J.C.Pennys(tm) model. The store looks like it is fifty years old, they never gets new signs. However, they spend a lot of money on TV time advertising sales; this yet again is reflected in the prices.

To me the true consumer value exists at the factory outlet stores. Factory stores do not advertise, but they sell brand name products. There is rarely gift wrap or boxes, and often no signage. So they can make their prices “dirt cheap” i.e. half the price of the retail store; and still have the same quality. In conclusion product branding confuses the general public; in that it makes them believe that one product is of a better quality than another and therefore it is reasonable to pay more for it. But, for the above reasons this is not true and the product really costs more because of the cost of advertising. So, a product is not always better because the ad says that it is, even if it is more expensive.