Logos please, and more of them

The first topic of this post could be viewed as a footnote to this post, in which I mourn the lack of a decent supermarket in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.  Branded goods have come in for a lot of stick in the past few years, culminating in the book No Logo, the author of which seems to think it would be better if the world’s consumables were not produced by large multinationals and carrying brand names.  Critics of the book normally point to brands as being part of the system which guarantees, or at least attempts to uphold, the quality of a product. 

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk would be a good place to put the two opposing theories to test.  Putting forth anecdotal evidence from my own experience, I have found that there are a few products in the supermarkets here in addition to the ones you would probably find on the moon, such as Coca-Cola.  When I am hunting through rows of tins and jars bearing the names of mysterious Russian manufacturers such as Favourite Garden or My Family, I am drawn to the few international brands such as Parmalat, Heinz, Nestle, and Green Giant.  Maybe there is a familiarity comfort factor at play here, but to be honest I’d never heard of Parmalat until they fell into financial trouble a few years back, and to my knowledge I’d never bought their products until I came here.  So I’m thinking my preference of goods coming with a label I have heard of and have seen abroad is because I believe these brands carry a stronger guarantee of quality than the brands I have never heard of. 

But that’s just me, and anecdotal evidence doesn’t say much.  What does say a lot is the premium people are prepared to pay for the internationally branded goods, which is usually 30%-50% higher than the locally branded goods.  If these items were to stay on the shelves for weeks, then it would be safe to say that the international brand is not worth premium being charged for it.  But as things are, the internationally branded goods tend to disappear pretty quickly, which is clear evidence that people are willing to pay considerably more for internationally branded goods than products carrying an unfamiliar brand name.  As an experiment, I’d like to see Naomi Klein put in a year in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and inspect her shopping basket every time she buys in some groceries.


2 thoughts on “Logos please, and more of them

  1. “Id like to see Naomi Klein put in a year in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk”

    That sounds like an answer to a DK-inspired competition…

    On a more sensible note, why didn’t Ms Klein have her book published anonymously?

  2. Pingback: White Sun of the Desert » An Afternoon in Tokyo

Comments are closed.