Monday, November 21, 2022

Brand Names

This post is a follow up on my last post of  want vs. need. In that post I talked of keeping up with trends in house decor. This post will focus on brand names in other product areas. 

Nike, Polo, Guess, Rolex, BMW and many others are known brands throughout the world. Brand names are popular in everything you can possibly buy including cars, clothes, jewelry, perfume and food. Some brand names are known for their quality such as Rolls Royce for cars and Levi Strauss for jeans. Some brand names are know for their status symbols in society such as Rolex, Cartier, Gucci, Porsche, Montblanc, etc. 

Brand names cost you more just for the name itself. When you go to the grocery store you have the option of many popular brands such as Green Giant, Libby's, Kellogg's, Coca Cola just to name a few. All the name brands typically cost more than generic labeled foods that are similar. Brand name drugs are vastly more expensive than their generic version. 

When I was young I remember wanting to get Converse shoes to play basketball in. I, and most everyone on the team sported our Converse proudly while playing our games. Back in the 80's, Converse was the brand everyone had to have in basketball shoes. It was later replaced by Nike and numerous other brands. Today, there seems to be more choices than ever in athletic shoes and about everything else. In high school I always wanted a Pioneer car stereo and speakers. The shoes and the car stereo were about the only brand names that I really, really wanted at the time. As I got a little older I bought a few Polo shirts with the little Polo player on the chest. 

Besides the few brand names above, I haven't really gotten caught up on having to wear the popular brands or driving the popular brands. My wife and I do have our favorite brands with some food items. There are certain brands that do taste different than others. We will always buy French's yellow mustard over the generic. We will always buy Miracle Whip over other mayo products. We will always buy Oscar Mayer hot dog wieners but will put them on store brand buns. 

On a recent shopping trip to the grocery store I noticed that the shelves of store brand can goods were noticeably of less volume than the name brand. I believe people are being more price conscious in the current economy and are choosing the can goods that are 20 cents cheaper. The stacks of Libby's and Green Giant can vegetables were very full with only a few cans missing while the store brand stacks were about half gone with empty boxes left in the area. We buy store brand in many products including can goods, some cereal, pasta and other items.

In retirement, as we become more cost conscious, we may look at brand names differently than we used to. As we get older, wearing the current trends may not be as important as it used to be. There are probably times where you still want the latest and greatest. I imagine that a retired golfer still wants to wear the most popular brands and wants to swing the newest and best golf clubs. If you are comfortable with your finances in retirement, you may decide to finally get that BMW or Audi that you always wanted. 

I see a lot of older people that just don't care about brand names or about how they look at all. I see older people at Walmart in T-shirts that are 40 years old and sweat pants that they obviously also use for yardwork and painting. Just this week I saw a gentlemen sporting a Reagan/Bush '84 shirt. These people are definitely not worried about brand names of today! 

Are you more cost conscious when it comes to brand names than you were in your younger years? Are there certain brands, such as our French's mustard, that you must have over generic? Have you become more cost conscious with the recent uptick in inflation? And lastly, do you own a Reagan/Bush '84 shirt or something similar that is you go to favorite?


  1. I have never been attracted to brand names as statement icons, but there are some brands I stick to rigidly in circumstances where personal experience has proven their reliability and longevity. So many of my clothes are from Rohan because they don’t crease, dry easily, are cool/warm depending on their purpose etc..Audi/VW have always served me well, so why change? Ecco for shoes, now I rate comfort above all else and know they are the exact fit for my feet. The list goes on - some might say I’m boring but I’m just pleased to have reached that stage of life where I know what works for me and only buy something when the old item needs replacing rather than because fancy overtakes me.

    1. Buying brands because of quality and value is a good idea. There are a lot of products that are worth the extra price because they far outperform and outlive cheaper versions. Thanks for the comment.

    2. My feet are hard to fit. The older I get the more it's worth it to spend big bucks on shoes that don't make them hurt.