“Common sense is instinct, enough of it is genius” ~George Bernard Shaw
“Common sense tries to understand the world we live on, in the simplest terms possible.” ~ADM and it’s this simplicity that has the ability to undermine all the work that marketing companies have put into creating brand values.
As examples of how to use our common sense let’s look at products we buy on a daily basis, milk and bread. These products have branded and non branded versions.
Some mothers and marketers have more in common than you might think, mothers teach their children to associate the price of a product with the value they receive. When a product is cheaper to purchase? There must to be something wrong with it, or it must have been made with inferior ingredients or the product will not stay fresh for as long as the branded product. This means the product is meant to be bought by the family who lives down the street. This is exactly what marketers are promoting to their consumers. Marketers spend a great deal of money promoting associations between their brands and the value received.
Common sense states the farmer who supplied the raw materials for the bakers didn’t say when he was planting the crop? “We must plant the corn for the cheaper bread down at that end of the field because the soil is in poorer condition”. When the bakers were baking the bread? Did they put half the dough into the bad ovens? To create different bread, you can be sure they didn’t, they baked all the bread in the very same way.
Common Sense states the farmer supplying the milk to the Creamery didn’t say “We must put those cows in that field, the grass is not as sweet as the grass in the top field and their milk is going to be sold cheaper.” When the milk goes to the creamery? Do they have different tanks to separate the milk from different suppliers? I think you know the answer.
The same analysis works for vegetables, the farmers doesn’t pick a part of the field to plant an inferior product. A carrot is a carrot regardless of what part of the field it was sown in.
- Now let’s look at some products we purchase on an irregular basis.
This is a favourite of mine, razor blades. There is a certain brand that advertises using the top athletes of a number of sports, that costs money and so does the product. I used this brand for years until last year, I bought the supermarkets own triple blade razor and to my astonishment, it gave me as good a shave as the branded version’s product. The difference in price matched my level of astonishment.
Common Sense states all that’s required for a good shave is a sharp blade, the packaging is not required to have a good shave, the price of the blade is immaterial because manufacturing a cheap blade that wouldn’t do the job it was meant to do, would be a waste of time and money as no one would buy a blade that wouldn’t shave them, even if it cost nothing.
Marketers like to use pharmacies to sell their products because of the professional association between prescribed medication and all other products sold by pharmacies. We believe there is something special about the branded products sold because of this association. This is a misconception; most branded products sold in pharmacies have cheaper substitutes, these substitutes can sometimes be bought in your local supermarket, but because there isn’t a huge marketing budget for these products, we are unaware of them. Some of these cheaper products are even manufactured by the same drug company. The next time you go into purchase a branded product from your local Pharmacy? Ask a member of staff behind the counter if there’s a cheaper version? They have the knowledge and experience to help you save your money.
Common Sense states, when you go into a Pharmacy looking for a product that will alleviate your aches and pains? The name written on the box, the packaging it comes in, the shape of the tablet and the price you pay at the checkout is not going to make your aches and pains go away.
What will help your aches and pains to go away are the ingredients in the tablet, everything else is marketing.
The examples I’ve used above are but a few of the hundreds if not thousands of ways marketers try to manipulate their consumers? Please leave your own examples in the comment section in order to help others to become enlightened.
- Common sense can exist in all our worlds, when we block out all the information provided by marketers that’s irrelevant to our decision-making process?
Please share my blog with your friends and colleagues,