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View Diary: What shaving taught me about capitalism (184 comments)

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  •  well the market does not set out to do that... (3+ / 0-)

    Each company wants to gain market share or introduce items with better markup... and advertise the hell out of the latest more expensive thing to get large numbers of potential customers to feel like they are out of date or using second best... So part of  the net result is as you say... a wide range of choices... but that is a side effect of aiming to get as large a herd as possible to ditch the cheaper older style stuff and spend more!....

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 03:06:24 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I get it (0+ / 0-)

      At the same time, there are lower cost competitors advertising or merchandising cheaper, lower-quality products.  I guess we can complain about general materialism, but you can't be suggesting that marketers adopt the suicide position of saying their products are just the same old thing.

      I'm not a Republican, but I'm saving up to be one. - Emo Phillips

      by GenXWho on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 10:02:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Blame your last sentence on branding (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justus, IreGyre

        I hear what you're saying. But that's the pact capitalism signed a long time ago, when generics became trademarks, and trademarks became lovemarks. Branding intentionally stages a market that sets out to generate emotional attachments to the brand, and detracts from generic function. Advertising is the vehicle to that end. And you may have "options", but it is hardly as though these choices are given the same weight of ubiquity. I can drop into a CVS and find oodles of disposable, few-time use razors, but I'll be blown away if I ever saw a safety razor kit, much less a straight-edge razor. Access to these choices isn't the same at all. As point out above: market share.

        Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

        "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

        by rovertheoctopus on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 04:49:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The net is a savior for the niche markets. (0+ / 0-)

        I live in Ireland and with a smaller customer base there is not much room for the lower selling items. Good products disappear when the importer or producer just does not get a big enough market. So just like in the US items that appeal to the few are far more available than before due to the net and that is all still in a transition phase with a lot of room still for smaller suppliers to cater to previously unmet needs. But that will mean that small sellers will continue to disappear from brick and mortar and the net will be the only source for niche items. So sure, not everything will either be in Walmart level bricks and mortar or Amazon selling everything to everyone... still room to sell other things to people who do not want the same thing everyone else does...

        Things like this always reminds me of the Budweiser saga... they seemed well on their way to being THE beer in the US with all other major brands dwindling or disappearing but of course that could never have actually come to pass and the micro brewery revolution popped up to stymie the corporate sameness from taking over completely (but of course the next act was for the biggies to come out with their own specialty clones or buy up the bigger ones... and the story continues with upstarts in other goods suppliers... Tom's of Maine toothpaste, Ben & Jerrys' ice cream eventually gobbled up by corporations... while others just paraded their own clones to head off any customer disloyalty...)

        So the war between dinosaur corporations having it all and teeny mammals offering more choice rages on... let's hear it for the underdog!

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 08:48:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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