Buyer Beware: “Basic”

Many years ago, Cadillac produced a lower quality vehicle to meet the demands of the buyers who could not afford the Cadillac brand, but wanted to. Their attempt was to make a product that would help them expand their market. Unfortunately, this backfired. The status that comes with owning a Cadillac was diminished and they suffered at this effort. Not only did they not sell to the new market, but those who had been loyal Cadillac owners took their business elsewhere in order to maintain that high-status. This was a brand fail; one that would take several years from which they would recover.

Today, well-established brands are trying to do this as well. {Clearly, they didn’t hear the Cadillac story in their marketing class.} These brands are producing “basic” versions of their products. I have tried two at this point and have been severely disappointed with both. Both are P&G products – Bounty and Charmin.

Those who know me know that I am not one to insult a company unless there is good reason. I am very disappointed in these “basic” products. They do not work as well as generic/lesser known brands nor do they last as long.

My desire to try the “basic” version of these products is based on the consumer loyalty that I had already established. I know each have good, solid products! However, their “basic” versions feel very cheap and actually insult me as a consumer.

For example: Scott Toilet Tissue with 1000 sheets per roll – while not as thick – lasts at least two weeks in my house where the Charmin “Basic” lasted four days. 4 DAYS! I will end up paying much more at this rate than I will over the Scott’s Brand if I stick with the “basic” brand that is marketed to save money!

That is what insults me… these brands are marketing themselves as a frugal, money-saving options for consumers of their high-end brand while, in reality, being a waste of money.

It seems as though that because I am being budget conscious with my funds, these brands {or P&G… or both} seem to believe that I deserve very sub-par products. Now, I know that there are good generic products at comparable prices, but I chose to try these “basic” versions based on my past experiences with the good non-basic versions.

I hope that these companies choose to develop better products and not fall into the same situation Cadillac did. Some products are good as is. Don’t try to “dumb it down” for us frugal shoppers.


Be safe out there & good luck!


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