Better than the Leading Brand

Isn't that statement a little contradictory?  If the product advertised was BETTER than the leading brand, wouldn't it be THE leading brand?  I guess there will always be brain teasers in life.

Last night I had a late night craving for something sweet.  I reached for some yummy Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs cereal.  To my dismay there was barely a  serving couple of spoonfuls left.  Before I had enough time to be sad about this tragic incident I noticed we also had another box of peanut butter puff cereal, only it was a store generic brand. 

As I opened the new box and began to pour the contents of it into my bowl already half full of the Reese's cereal I noticed something startling.  It looked EXACTLY the same.  It didn't look like a different version of a similar flavor.  It looked identical to what I had just poured in from the other box.  What do you think the taste was like?  You got it!  Exactly the same as the Reese's cereal.  I could not tell that they were two cereals from two different boxes and two different brands mixed in that bowl.

So I pondered upon the fetish some people have about getting "NAME" brand stuff.  First I thought about how powerful having a brand can be that it makes people pay more for the product just because of the name.  Second I thought of how much we in the USA allow brands to determine our class in life. 

If the choice was identical in price and you could choose a pair of no name jeans or ones with let's say a Louis Vuitton label (assuming branding still held its value), which would you choose?  I would certainly choose the Louis pair.  But of course the price tag for those different jeans varies tremendously, mostly because of the name.  Let's face it when it comes to dungarees they're made of pretty much the same thing.

When I go to the store, I always go for the least expensive food item.  I don't care who makes it.  It has always been my thought that they come from the same plant or factory and then the item just gets a different label put on the container.  Last night when I ate the cereal and saw the evidence with my own eyes it amused me to think about how we put so much clout on branding.  However, when money no longer becomes an issue I will have no problem paying for the brand (especially when it comes to clothes and such).  But as a matter of life or death, I really don't think there's a difference or that it should matter. 

I wonder what the prevelant thinkin gof society is on this subject.  Thoughts?


  1. Hi,

    Pretty good observation. Now, I'm in the mood for those cereals LOL! When my kids were younger I had to buy the same brand of the item advertised on TV or that their friend had bought. I had always bought generic because I knew that these food items were made a the same plant as the more expensive ones. Try and explain this to young children. I like your comment about not being interrupted while you are blogging. So true! :D


  2. LOL, I didn't think about the issue with kids. Yeah, good luck on getting them to understand it, I guess you do your best with what you've got!

  3. Ha ha! Name brand marketing... You know I have three kids and they always want what they see on the t.v. commercials. Sigh. Anyway, the organic panda puff cereal is one of the ones I recently started to buy them. That stuff is good!

  4. Isn't it interesting how we get sucked into the idea that name brand anything is better. In some cases, I think it's true, like in some brands of clothes - not all. There are some brands that I can depend upon to be cut on the fabric right, that have decent seams, and that don't get wrecked by putting them in the washer and dryer.

    Other things, like food, often are just as you said about the cereal!

    But as much as I hear that all dog foods come off the same line, I don't believe that all dog foods are equal, and always read the ingredients. I think that's a good thing to do with people food as well - always read the ingredients.

    I think cereal is one of the most over-priced things out there. Pretty packaging and Saturday morning TV hype sell a lot of a mediocre product.

    You did ask for our opinions, right? Haha

  5. Good thoughts here. In college the generic mac and cheese was better than the Kraft. At least I thought so anyway.

  6. Hey, stopping in from the lady bloggers... and I have to totally agree with you... except that it occasionally makes a difference. Like when you buy a teeshirt from the dollar store and then the laundromat tears it to ribbons, and you think damnit I should have gone name brand, haha.

  7. I usually boy the more generic store brand. It is the same. But I have yet to be able to say that for mac and cheese. It has got to be Kraft. Can't go with generic for that one.

  8. I buy generic when I can. But on stuff that is really important I buy the top brand. Sometimes it does make a difference.

  9. Sometimes the store brands are just as good as the name brands . . . although not always. You have to experiment to see what is good and what isn't.

  10. I really don't care about brands - I usually just check the ingredients!

  11. Certain things I can tell a difference and will buy a certain brand...ketchup, mayonnaise, pickles, spaghetti sauce, veggie burgers...maybe it doesn't actually taste "better" but it is a taste I am accustomed to and therefore I *do* like it better.

    As for clothing...Louis who? (kidding!) In all seriousness though, I think if I had a bazillion dollars I probably might buy MORE clothing (and purge more of the unflattering stuff more often) instead of more EXPENSIVE clothing. It's funny, I'm one of those girly girls who loves pink and dresses and pretty things but can't understand why a movie star would pay *that* much for a dress!