Thursday, December 23, 2010

How 50 Cent scored a half-billion

How 50 Cent scored a half-billion

In my first and only undergrad marketing classes first exam a question read approximately:

True/False Commodities cannot be branded.

My answer, "No" was marked wrong. Once a product is effectively branded it is not a commodity is the mind of the consumer. So what is the definition of commodity? Most of what people buy are commodities and commodities associated with status. I often marvel at the mens wristwatch market. Who with a watch doesn't have a cell phone? Why not be a bit honest and just get a bracelet? If no cell phone is owned then $11 will buy a perfectly good digital.

Many of Proctor and Gamble's products are commodity chemicals, but I challenge you convince my mom to use anything but Tide.

That people can brand sugar water with some vitamins does not shock but does amuse. To me, beer is a highly differentiated product while wine is less so, so maybe I just haven't acquired the required human capital.

As technology improves products are becoming more commoditised, hedonically. For example, almost all new cars now provide pretty reliable transportation and accelerate plenty fast. Style and branding determines an increasing percentage of purchases.

Humorously, the phone that doesn't work well as a phone, the iPhone (yes I had one and calls dropped far more than on my other ATT phone) has potentially the strongest brand.

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