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Can you imagine that I don't know what are brand names and generic stuff?!!!!
Do you only want responses from The USA or worldwide?

I use some generic brands, but you would not recognise the name brands that I use, so I dont know if that would be helpful or not.

It might be interesting for your essay to mention that true Aussies do not eat any brand of yeast extract other than true Vegemite. Marmite, Assiemite and so on, just do not have the same flavour.

The irony is that "Vegemite" no longer belongs to an Australian company - it is American I think! Disturbed Smilie

[Edited on 4/6/2002 by Allyssa]
I only buy the cheapest thing I can get, brand names mean nothing to me.
er...sorry to ask a stupid question, but... what does generic mean? Sad Smilie
ok, so since I'm really not that good at explaining things, I think the best I can do is to give an example of what I mean...

Think of when you go into the store. If you look in the aisle with soda (or pop or whatever your regional word for the thing is) in it, you see Coca-Cola, which is something everyone has heard of (or most people, at least). It's very familiar, a best-seller, and probably one of the more expensive varieties of soda. That is what a name brand item is. If you look around some more, you'll see some soda that either has the store name on it, or a name you haven't heard, or even just the word SODA on it. They're probably cheaper and maybe not packaged quite as nicely as the Coca Cola...these are your generic items. (if this example doesn't work out overseas, let me know...I'll try and do better)

The object of my paper is to apply a set of sociological or psychological theories as to why people buy name brands...it doesn't really matter what brand you think of, or where in the world you are - just let me know why it is that you pick, for example, Coke over the 'SODA' soda or vice versa...is it peer pressure (i.e. you're not cool if you drink SODA soda)? or do you worry about quality? or price? And Allyssa - do you think the reason that the reason Vegamite is more popular truly has to do with the taste, or does it have to do with the stereotype you described - that people who eat Vegamin are "true Aussies"? (Mind you, I don't really know what I'm talking about here...I'm mostly trying to get a feel for what sort of theories I can come up with)

Hope I cleared things up a little bit at least...
On the whole, I avoid brand names because they are just expensive versions of other products. In some cases they may taste better than other brands, but often the price does not justify buying them. At the end of the day you are just paying for a large slice of advertising.
Clothes are slightly different in that you advertise to the world what you wear and generally you want to look good. Clothes also portray an image. I tend to wear a specific make of jeans, but that is as far as I go. I still wear the same leather jacket that I bought twenty years ago. There again, my image doesn't need brand name items of clothing. Scruffy jeans and leather jacket will do.
I wouldn't dream of buying anything with the Nike swoosh or any other brand name printed or embroidered on it; well my jacket does say "Lands enD", but they aren't spending millions in advertising.

I usually buy generic unless I think the brand name provides better quality for the money, more bang for the buck, is a better value. I buy brand name soda pop when it is on sale, and as some brand is usually on sale, I usually end up with it rather than the store brand. I buy generic prescription drugs when I can including store brand Acetaminophen (Tylenol ).
Definitely price over a brand name.
Well, now I see what you mean Chika!
I am making attention to brand names in the following context:
(1) cosmetics
(2) alcohol
(3) prescription drugs
(4) coffee
(4) audio/video equipment
(5) shoes (but only because I learned that expensive shoes are many times as durable as cheap ones!)

I am not making any attention to brands when buying any other products. In particular, I do not advertise my rank by brand names on my clothing. I feel here exactly like Valedhelgwath!

[Edited on 5/6/2002 by Eryan]
Most of my wardrobe comes from charity shops, and I'm not ashamed to admit it! Great bargains. Though some might say my T-shirt collection is advertising as nearly all of them are from pub promotions and have brand name lagers and beers and spirits etc. all over them. And I also still have the same Leather I bought 10 years ago (though I just got given a shiny new spare one by my brother who no longer wants it).
I must admit, I may be nigh on 25 years old, but I still get my Brother's old clothes, as he is a fashion victim and only keeps them a matter of months.
I'm with Eryan on the shoes thing. I mostly buy Caterpillar's, because they seem to last ages. I've had my favourite shoes for well over 5 years now... Big Smile Smilie

For all the rest, I usually end up buying the things I like most, which turn out to be brand things, like sweaters or T-shirts or trousers. Not that I really care though... And then for food and drink, everything that's nice and eatable's ok with me. Big Smile Smilie As long as it's fresh... Animated Wink Smilie
Okay, I will explain the vegemite thing. I personally have tried the cheeper immitations in order to:
1. Save Money (very important)
2. Buy an Australian made product (true blue Vegemite is owned by an American company I think)
I have discovered that they dont measure up taste-wise, but my son has not yet noticed the difference so it might depend on a persons individual taste buds.

As for other items, I buy a combination. I never buy label clothes. It is the principle. I refuse to pay $150 for a pair of shoes just because they have NIKE on them. Some of my clothes are second hand too, because it gives them character. A lot of my clothes are from "bargain botiques" so to speak.

Ha Ha Ha Smilie This will give you a laugh. The only leather jacket I own is brown swede with fringes. Smile Smilie Have had it for years. Someone tell me if it comes back into fashion.

Cosmetics: Name brands, but not the expensive ones, I cant afford it. I did recently buy a cheep imitation of "White Diamonds" perfume and so far, no one has said anything.

Alcohol: dont drink really. (stop laughing Plastic!)

Prescription drugs: I used to buy generic brands until I got an anti-biotic that gave me the worst case of diarrhea that I have ever had in my life! Never again. Always get the name brand now, no matter how expensive. Dont buy generic antibiotics anyone!

Tea: (I cant stand coffee) I always buy my favourite Australian brand - never generic or that dreadful English stuff Animated Wink Smilie

Audio/video: I prefer Panasonic or Pioneer. There is a definate difference in quality there.

Summary: I tend to buy generic if there is no Australian made alternative. Although in some specific items, for which quality is important, I buy name brands.

Does any of that help Chicka?
Hey, I did the same survey for a marketing course last fall. Anyway, I buy what I like. If the generic brand tastes good or doesn't lose it's shape or shink in the wash then I buy it. Sometimes Coke will be on sale at a cheaper price than the generic brand. My medical coverage only covers generic brands so I have no idea if I perfer brand name medication, but then do I care? Price is my first concern. I would love to have a Pioneer system but can't afford one so I don't have any. I think brand name makes a difference with electronics but not with most foods and most clothes. An excellant book to read for your project is "No Logo". It is a real eye opener. Check your local library.
I stopped buying branded or designer goods (well, tried to anyway) ever since I was 18. But I also tend to buy what I like, regardless of the current trend. I react to peer pressure by spitefully doing the exact opposite.

Clothing - No designer labels! I've weaned myself and can now sniff disdainfully at my fluffy friends who are nothing but walking advertisements for D&G, Prada, & the like. The only labelled item I now have which is remotely recognisable are my old and battered Levis 501s. Most of my other stuff are usually tailored, and I insist on no labels.

Accessories. Handbags/belts - anything as long as it has no label or logo. Shoes: tough one, can't resist 'em. I agree with Eryan, the expensive ones usually last longer so I don't feel guilty about splurging. So I buy anything and everything (as long as there's no logo). I don't wear jewellery, except for my wedding band. Don't approve of gold.

Foodstuff. Depends if I have time. If I'm late, I just grab something familiar. If not, then I browse & make sure I buy something that produced by my country, regardless of the brand. Or maybe if there's a huge range of choices (example: fresh produce), I try to purchase something that's from a poor/poorer country (i.e Iranian apples as opposed to American grown, Egyptian lettuce vs. Australian, etc), regardless of the price.

Household appliances: same principle. From my country, or products from less wealthy countries get my preference. So far I've been lucky in that I get value for money, and nothing has blown up yet.

Furniture: See household stuff.

Electronics: Same thing.

Beauty/skincare: I've used Sheiseido for the past 15-16 years because it's made for Asian skin, and I can find it in any country I've lived in. Useful since I move around a lot. Cosmetics - other than YSL lipsticks (my mom used it so I nicked hers, and they last longer), I'm not fussy about the rest.

Alcohol: Anything, really. Coffe: Anthing Columbian or American.
Cigarettes/cigars: 'Hope Menthols' cigarettes from the the Phillippines. Cohiba Slim Panatellas and Romeo y Julietta cigarillos. No compromise there. Cuban made only. Go Fidel!

Cars: German. Smile Smilie Sorry, but they're the best, and, in the long run, good value for money. And I've a soft spot for old British roadsters too.

Anything else: As long as the producer the current underdog, I'll choose it over the rest. Hence my fondness for Cuban products, Iraqi rugs, Kashmiri shawls, etc.
Good choice in Cigars Golly! I only just got turned on to Romeo y Juliettas and they really do rock don't they?
As for electronic stuff, if it's cheap, it will die very soon and suck bigtime. Sony suck as well now, though they used to be great. Go for Marantz, NAD, and still Pioneer and B & O for most stuff. And always always buy JBL speakers (unless you can get an old set of Wharfedales like mine but they're really hard to find now). Audio anyway, don't really care about any other electronic equipment though....
good stuff, guys...much appreciated! Big Smile Smilie
Hmm I buy what I like.... Sometimes that means brand name, sometimes not.. For instance, i have a lot of Claiborne shirts and jackets.... they are expensive, but i like the styles, they are made well, and i buy them at the end of the season when they are half off

Quality is most important to me.. if the generic is as good, then i buy it... usually though, they aren't as good...
Ungoliant - please buy our lettuces! Australian farmers are on the breadline! Big Smile Smilie
Farmers around the world are on the breadline Very Sad Smilie and I blame the Very Evil Smilie multi-national corporations and their lackeys the IMF.

Farmers are being short changed to pay the processors and advertisers, as well as exorbitant salaries to CEOs and bribes to their lawmakers. Even in countries where there are farm subsidies, it is because for instance, there are only 10 cents worth of wheat in a $3 loaf of bread. Shaking Head Smilie
Farmers around the world are on the breadline and I blame the multi-national corporations and their lackeys the IMF.

Spoken like a true lefty! Cheers for Grondy! If it's any consolation Allyssa, I always buy Aussie carrots when there's no 3rd world alternative on display. They're very sweet, crunchy & have nice pointy ends. Are they organically grown? Smile Smilie

I didn't think that politics played any part in my purchasing decisions, but I realised that a small part does influence me after all after writing the previous reply. I though I just had an instinctive hatred of big labels & multi-corporations. Maybe Naomi Klein would give me a pat on the back. Animated Wink Smilie
I am for brand names in two situations: (1) when I am sure that they will mean higher quality and then finally I will be a winner in the end (as in the case of audio/video stuff, medical drugs and shoes) and (2) when I feel I am an complete ass and I am afraid of buying something horrible (as in the case of alcohol and cosmetics). I am using very few cosmetics, and as for alcohol, I am drinking it at a rate of two-three bottles of beer par year so I feel I am really not an expert here!
2-3 bottles a year!!!!!?!?!?!?! How?
... as for alcohol, I am drinking it at a rate of two-three bottles of beer per year ...
That also is about my annual consumption of beer. I probably have about twice that number of hard drinks per year.
2-3 bottles a year!!!!!?!?!?!?! How?
Some of us, Skwrl, have other bad habits we use to insolate ourselves from the reality of the world, and I don't mean drugs. Animated Wink Smilie
Some of us, Skwrl, have other bad habits we use to insolate ourselves from the reality of the world, and I don't mean drugs. Animated Wink Smilie

PLEASE Dont tell us any more Grondy! Wink Smilie

Shocked Smilie
No please do, are they cheaper?
No please do, are they cheaper?
That depends upon whether you buy your Fantasy/Sci-Fi novels used in paperback or new at a full service book store in hardcover. Also how many hours you spend online interacting with Fantasy/Sci-Fi forums like this one. And I suppose upon whether the snack-food you gorge yourself upon is high in calories and loaded with both salt and cholesterol, and then if it all goes to waist and you have a good medical plan. Oink Smilie Pumpkin Smilie

Or maybe on how long you take to finish a computer game. I just finished Tomb Raider 3 in 64 some hours. Which means it cost me only about 30 cents per hour which is a whole lot cheaper than the price of a beer. Of course I miss the interaction with the patrons of your pub and all the morning after headaches, but at least one of those is worth missing. Winking Smilie
Writing a neverending long fantasy novel is another one!
But I do all of those things (except computer games, never seen the point) but I do them while I'm drinking, to enhance the experience. And I forgo the snack foods, as they are also unnecessary.
Realy spicy hot pepper chips contain capsaicin, an alcaloid found in chili peppers (absolutely legal and safe!). It makes you feel better, enhances the memory, and helps you to fight with flu and colds. The only unpleasant quality of that nice drug is that it enhances pain sensibility. And you must have a healthy stomach!

[Edited on 12/6/2002 by Eryan]
You can get your daily intake of chilli peppers by adding a few drops of tabasco sauce in a glass of beer. That's quite tasty as well. Plus that way you can avoid all the nasty fattening junk food. Smile Smilie

[Edited on 12/6/2002 by Ungoliant]
Sounds good, I have no memory at all anymore, and the healthiest stomach ever (it is comparable to that of a goat). I don't fancy feeling more pain though...
And if you're gonna drink tabasco, put it in a bloody Mary like you're supposed to.
Ugh, no thanks. That has tomato, Plastic. Ackk.
Not a fan of the ol' red eye then?
Jumping Flame Smilie And when you're sixteen you can't do your own shopping? Jumping Flame Smilie

I don't drink much, but when I do, I do it well. Usually some pints of lager, or Guinness. Give me beer anytime. I'm not really a cocktail fan. Cool Smilie

[Edited on 12/11/2002 by TomBombadillo]