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Why Consumers Prefer Brand Names - Product Marketing

Aug 18, 2007
Americans love brand name products. They'll pay just about anything for Levis jeans, Charmin toilet tissue and Heinz ketchup. Yet, they often snub lower cost generic products deeming them "unfit." Considered inferior by the masses, generic products seem doomed for the clearance shelf. But why? Are name brand products superior? If not, than have we all been duped into thinking anything less than a labeled product is worthy of our attention?

Businesses initiated the concept of product branding more than a century ago in order to make it easier for consumers to differentiate between high-quality manufacturer products and their lesser known locally made counterparts. In the late 1800's manufacturers devised a plan to help consumers recognize superior companies, and their product lines, by creating brand names unique to individual manufacturers. Customers could quickly and easily recognize their favorite products simply by the way it was packaged, labeled and advertised. That same branding technique now allows the world's consumers to more easily recognize high-quality American-made products from less reliable ones on the open market.

The United States has a history of developing and selling that set us apart from other worldwide manufacturers, allowing consumers all across the world to know exactly what they're getting. Brand name products have historically been linked to quality, which has also allowed them to command higher prices.

Consistency and quality is a benchmark of product brands. Well-known brands tend to exceed the sale of generics simply due to the trust they have garnered among customers. Once a customer connects with a certain brand or company, they are apt to go back again and gain when in need of their product.

Advertising too has a lot to do with the success of product branding. After all, a consumer is more apt to purchase a project they've seen on TV, heard a jingle for on the radio, and saw plastered on a highway billboard on the way to work, than a product they know little about, even if it is cheaper.

Branding an image or slogan may work well in traditional retail stores, but what about Internet sales? It seems that the branding of individual products is less important in Internet sales, than the branding of the actual site. Research has shown that online consumers are more interested in finding sites they can trust and that offer what they want and need at cheaper prices than in the actual brands being sold, which would indicate a need for e-commerce sites to spend more time marketing their sites more than their products.

As in the case of most marketing strategies, the goal is to find out what your particular consumer is looking for, and then giving it to them. While high-quality branded product is most important in traditional retail stores, today's internet customer seeks a high-quality internet site above all else.
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