February 25, 2009

Consumer Sentiments

[Author's Note: This one is marketing related. An attempt to seem academic and justify my scholarship payment from Uni.]

When is a brand not a brand? When you do not recognise it. Talking about goodwill in Accounting the other day, I got to thinking about something I've noticed in my short time abroad. It's probably best discussed now too, while I remain unfamiliar with the local retail scene (that wont last long, I promise).

In the supermarket across the road there are a lot of brands I don't recognise. At home, we (Mum and I, Saturday morning at Coles) tend to buy what we always buy - that is, we buy the same brands all the time because we know and 'trust' them. Colgate toothpaste, Dove soap, Pura milk, Western Star butter... we also don't have to think about it unless there's a blazing neon sign above an alternative brand on Mega Sale.

So what do you do when your brands aren't there (or cost three times what you usually pay)? Well, you actually look at other ones. You read the labels, and in the event you cannot undertand them because they are in French, you look at the pictures or make your own assumptions from other cues. I took 1.5 hours to spend $50 at the supermarket the other night, simply because I actually considered every purchase I made.

Additionally, being on a student budget really tests your brand allegiance. When you cannot afford Colgate you go for Carrefour, the no-name/home brand/store brand or one of the other cheapies. And guess what? The Carrefour yoghurt tastes the same as Yoplait. The Carrefour surface spray cleans just as well as Spray n Wipe. And the Carrefour muesli is the best I've ever had. No kidding.

So what has this taught me? We are creatures of habit and when something prevent us acting out of habit we are creatures of thrift, which isn't so bad afterall. Bring on the Black and Gold! Reading #FrenchSafari: Consumer SentimentsTweet this!

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