[image via this link]
Branding is a powerful thing.
If a brand is sold to the public in a particular way, it can convince people of anything. The psychology behind branding is absolutely fascinating. It can make us think that something tastes better, works more efficiently, or is a must-have when we can really live without it.
One of the most obvious areas you can see this at work is in the kitchen. How many items in your fridge are branded, when you know that the unbranded products would have been cheaper? How about in the medicine cabinet – do you have generic medication or branded options, despite there being no difference in the ingredients?
The above might be easier to justify. Maybe the food tastes better; perhaps you have convinced yourself there is something in the medication that makes it more effective. Given that these items are relatively low in price, it’s fairly harmless if you feel the brand is the better choice for you.
One area where this becomes more complicated, however, is with electronics. Sticking with the kitchen, most specifically, kitchen appliances.
There comes a time when you might have to look for new kitchen appliances. It might be in the aftermath of kitchen remodeling; you don’t want those shabby old appliances cluttering up your pristine new space, do you? Or perhaps you’re in need of something new for the most obvious reason: the old ones just don’t work anymore!
So you find yourself looking for something new to go with your kitchen. Your eye might be caught by the inventive colours, retro shapes, and nifty extras available with the branded products. Then there are the own brand versions, which are nowhere near as attractive… but they are half the price. Sometimes, it’s even less than half the price.
Does It Matter?
The simple answer, if money is your foremost concern, is no.
One of the biggest tactics people use to convince themselves they need the branded appliances is one of common sense. After all, the branded items are probably more expensive because they are better made – right? And if they’re better made, then they’re going to last longer. So really, it’s an investment.
This is not necessarily the case, as the huge number of appliances that are called back every year shows. There’s no more certainty of a long-lasting relationship with an appliance just because it has a higher price tag.
What About Safety?
Is there a chance that cheaper appliances have not been made to the same standards, thus it’s safer to buy the branded versions?
Not at all. If an item is for sale in a store, it will have had to pass a plethora of different safety checks – the exact same ones the branded appliances did. Unless you are buying from a market stall (which… just don’t do that) then you can be sure of the safety.
So ask yourself the next time you’re in the market for appliances: do you want to save money or have the cachet and excitement of a high-end branded item? Neither is the wrong answer – just make sure you’re honest with yourself about your motivation!