In my undergraduate marketing class, we talked about how to try to get consumers to have brand insistence, or, at least, brand loyalty. In my capstone class for my MBA, the professor said that it wasn’t quality that mattered, but perception of quality. The marketers are out to get you by having you pay more for a brand than you would otherwise for a product.
When I was a kid, our family bought store brand canned goods, which seemed fine to us. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, generic products with black letters on white backgrounds became popular. In my fraternity at the time, we joked about having “beer” beer, which was made by Falstaff in our part of the country and wasn’t bad compared to the light beers of the era.
We have had very good luck with store brands. We have found that Kirkland, Costco’s house brand, is excellent. We have also been happy with most Great Value house brand products from Walmart and from our grocery stores regular house brand. Our regional grocery chain has a second house brand name with very low prices, but the quality isn’t always acceptable to us.
I have found it most difficult to give up brand names for personal hygiene products. Last week, for the first time ever, I bought a toothpaste other than Crest because it was about one-third the price. I haven’t had any problems using it.
You can save about one-third on your grocery bill by buying house brands, rather than national brands. House brands rarely go on sale. I have seen an occasional sale on some products with our regional grocery store brand. Since they generally don’t go on sale, you don’t need to stock up, if you buy house brands. This is “just in time” inventory for the home, a concept used in business.
If you buy things that do go on sale, you should stock up if you have the money and the space for it. We’re guilty of not having replacement items for things that don’t have a house brand or that we have brand insistence, and subsequently pay more than we should. Keeping inventory around would allow us time to look for replacement items on sale.