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An Argument To Complete “No Logo”

1352 words - 6 pages

In “No Logo” Naomi Klein presents a convincing and well-documented look into how “branding” has enabled multi-national corporations to take over the way many Americans make purchases; however, since her argument fails to include the all-important human factors often overlooked by corporations and the proliferation of Internet-based retailers who are able to deal goods directly to the consumer, it is incomplete.

Advertising (marketing) in America is long past its zenith. There may have been a time when people actually paid attention to all of the flash, the glitz, and the hype, but most consumers (especially those in Generation X) are savvy and somewhat skeptical. The public is less ...view middle of the document...

Shoppers today are often forced to put name brand merchandise into their shopping carts, often sighing with dissatisfaction as they pay higher prices for the goods that are produce with lower quality standards. What retailers have failed to realize is that consumers are not looking for trade names anymore; whether selecting a television or a bottle of dish soap, just as in every economic downturn, they are looking for solid value (972). These days consumers are more informed than ever before; they can access recent product reviews instantly using hand-held devices while browsing in retail store aisles. “Product-focused” manufacturers are the most notorious for failing to meet the needs of the customer because they mistakenly believe that branding continues to ensure positive buyer perceptions, which deters them from concentrating on the quality guidelines of their wares.

KitchenAid is one of these “brands” that have lost their impetus for exceeding consumer expectations. This company’s entire reputation is built upon the reliability of its blenders, which were once remarkably known for lasting 30 years or more. These days one can find everything from dishwashers to oven mitts bearing the KitchenAid logo; however, as a result of Internet access, consumers have less confidence in the merchandise this company offers. It appears when Whirlpool bought the KitchenAid name, it decided to streamline and re-engineer the mixers themselves in order to increase the firm’s bottom line. This was accomplished by replacing the inner mechanisms that were once made out of metal with plastic parts. It didn’t take long for the loyal customer base to discover the significant drop in product quality and to begin to complain vociferously. What was Whirlpool’s response to this out cry?--a shell-game of bureaucratic red-tape so pronounced that it rivaled the federal government. This organization, unfortunately, did not feel the need to correct the problem; or to revise its product-line since all of its competitor’s homogeneous products were just as inexpensively produced. It seemed as though branding was succeeding, but only because shoppers had to choose the lesser of more than a few evils, not because they were excited or satisfied about the purchase.

Sewing machines are another excellent example. While Singer and Husqvarna were once trusted names in their market niche, their reputations have been sullied. It is reported that the major sewing machine manufacturers have been bought out by a single investment corporation hungry for “name recognition” which, like Whirlpool, has replaced internal parts once made out of metal with components now fashioned out of plastic. It doesn’t matter if a seamstress buys the highest priced or the lowest priced brand-name; both units will no doubt have a shortened life and will need to be replaced prematurely. The self-same multinational corporation will experience a net gain. This is another in the long list of illusions of...

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