Have you ever looked at the products in your bathroom or in your kitchen and wondered why you buy the brands you buy? Some of us buy for price points, but those of us who just have to have this certain brand of this product because, well, because "it just works better..." Does it? Why do we wait in lines at Starbucks to order a $4.19 grande cappuccino only to be met with satisfactory taste?
In NPR's TED Radio Hour, an episode called "Brand Over Brain" talks about the impact brands have in our everyday life. In the episode, Guy Raz sits down with three individuals who've made it their mission to help further society's education on the subject. One of the guests includes Morgan Spurlock, most commonly known for his documentary Super Size Me. In the interview, Raz asks Spurlock that even though we know so much of advertising is to get us to purchase more or new products, "why are we still so seduced by brands?"
"That's the multi-million dollar question. But I don't think we just seduced by brands. We seduced by the imagery that surrounds that brand. That these pants are going to make you slimmer, or that drink is going to make you hotter, or this perfume is going to make your sexier. It's everything that comes along with the brand. We buy into the dream that surrounds that product much more than we buy into the product" (Spurlock, 2014).
The second guest in the episode is Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology & cognitive science at Yale University, and a lot of his work is about how people decide what is valuable and what isn't.
"People are not mistaken when they spend extra money for the better known brand because it could bring more pleasure. Sometimes we get pleasure from knowing what something is and knowing where it came from. And our experience is transformed this way" (Bloom, 2014).
We all have our "things;" places and products that make us feel good, no matter the cost. Personally, I will spend extra money a certain brands of hair care products because, in my mind (and maybe in reality), it works better and makes me feel good.
What brands are you loyal to? What brands do you spend extra money on? Do you buy into the dream a brand creates for its consumers?
- c J w -