Home Brands Winning the Fight Over Big Brands

Christmas is a great time to catch up with family and friends that you hardly see. This year I ran into a friend of mine who works for a chemical manufacturer. The organisation he works for happens to specialise in anti-bacterial hand washes and sunscreen creams.

After exchanging our greetings I asked how work was and he told me that manufacturing was tough and would only be getting tougher. The weather was hot (it is Christmas and summer in Australia at the moment) and so I took out the sunscreen my wife had purchased from our local supermarket to apply on my children’s skin. He asked why we had purchased that particular brand and my wife explained that she recognised the brand and that the bottle looked easy to open and close. He then began to explain that the difference between the brand offered by the supermarket “Home Brand” and the brand we had purchased was probably perfume only, ie one had a different aroma added to it than the other. In terms of the protection offered, there was no difference. The company he worked for made several brands of sunscreen and they where all pretty much exactly the same, differentiated by packaging and therefore price.

He extended his comparison to the anti-bacterial hand cleanser that his company also makes. Our local supermarket stocks a few brands and we have gotten used to the smell of a particular brand that we now buy regularly. The formula used was very similar if not the same across each of the brands that they packaged on behalf of other companies.

With all of this information at hand it got me thinking. Of late the press had been hammering the big supermarkets about their drive to have customers purchase “home brand” products by essentially giving them priority positioning on shelves as well as undercutting the competition on price.

Can millions of dollars invested in a brand disappear literally over night if you learn that brand A and brand B are essentially the same? Are you likely to switch to a “home branded” product offered by a supermarket simply because it is 30% lower in price than the traditional market leader. Should we as consumers care if big brands are being driven out of the market by cheaper alternatives with the distribution power to undercut them?

The large supermarket chains of Coles and Woolworths dominate grocery shopping in Australia. IGA and a few independents offer some competition but the shear distribution of these large chains means they control what we eat and what brands we buy. Or do they?

The press is telling us that if we don’t want our grocery shelves dominated by “Home Brands” we should be voting with our wallets, driving the dollars back to the big brands. Yet the big brands make us pay 30% more for what is essentially the same product as the “Home Brand” simply because this is how they make lots of money.

Look at your own shopping experience. Would you travel out of your way to buy a particular branded product if the local grocery store didn’t stock or stopped stocking it? Would you continue to go out of your way even after a few months. If you are time poor, you like most others are more likely to pick the easier option, just buy what the store offers.

In Australia the Coles and Woolworths range of “Home Branded” products are taking between 25% and 30% of all grocery sales. This is likely to rise to over 30% as has been seen in other countries like the UK. With a young family, I purchase 9 litres of milk each week. That is three times three litre containers. The difference between buying the “Home Brand” and the market leader is over $1.50 per container, equating $4.50 per week. I personally prefer the taste of the market leader’s milk but until my kids can tell the difference and ask for it, I would rather save the $4.50 per week.

Therefore the market leading retail milk brand in Australia who has spent so much over the years convincing us that their flavour and milk is better is now forced to compete primarily on price. It is a big challenge for them and it will require them to begin to think in a different way so that they can begin to win customers like me back. As I mentioned I prefer their milk but when the economy is facing tough times, we all reign in our spending where we can and make compromises to get by.

A few years ago a similar marketing challenge was presented to Panadol the leading paracetamol brand (head ache relief). A low cost, no frills competitor come into the market saying that it offered the same formula as Panadol without the premium price. Their advertising in fact focused primarily on this point of difference. Same formula, 30% cheaper.

What Panadol did was evolve their product range, developing products that worked quicker “Rapid” and were more focused on specific pain relief (eg kids). They developed marketing campaigns focusing on the tie that many Australians had with the brand and how they used it for specific pain relief. They used some real customers and made their advertisements focus on “testimonial.”

To date it has worked and Panadol is once again selling well. Whilst the other brand is still around, it hasn’t been seen on TV for years.

Pursue an Online Bachelors Degree Education

“A class with no walls” would be a concept that surprises at least some. But this is what technology has brought to us. When we think of earning a bachelor degree we all think of the traditional education system where we have to go t a college daily and listen to the lectures. But this is no more the trend. You can easily acquire a bachelor degree online.

The online degree course will provide you with all the facilities that you need to pursue. The exposure that you get will be sometimes more when compared to the traditional system. A major advantage of such a program is that you can choose your own time for the study. This will help you to carry on with other works in the mean time. Those who are working need not compromise with their career.

Many people try to pursue online bachelor degree in order to get a promotion in their existing job or to find a more lucrative job without compromising with the existing one. Those who find it difficult to go to a college due to personal or some other reasons will also gain from this. You can acquire your degree in arts, science, business and even education. Yes, you can acquire an online bachelor’s degree education.

If you have a job and still dream of becoming a teacher don’t worry. You can easily enroll yourself with an online college and grab your degree. In order to get a bachelor degree usually one has to spend at least 3 to 4 years in a college. With the online system you can get your degree in less than 18 months.

Usually online bachelors degree education takes four years to complete. You can work according to your pace. But you will need to submit the projects and assignments exactly at the time specified by your mentor. Another major advantage of an online course is that you can interact with professionals across the world who is working in the same field as yours. Moreover you can easily interact with your mentor which is mostly impossible in a class room system.

Many universities specify that you will need to do 60 semester hours of course work to get your degree in education. But don’t feel disappointed. There are universities which will help you to do your course work at a faster pace if you wish to finish it at a fast. Like in a traditional system an online bachelor degree in education will also help to face a class room with confidence and become an excellent teacher. The degree that you get online will be given an equal footage with the degree that is acquired under the traditional class room system.

There are number of universities which offer bachelors degree education online. But you need to do a lot of research before you enroll yourself with one. Or else it is easy for you to get cheated. There are lot of universities without accreditation who trap students only with the aim of gaining profit. So, make sure that the university that you have chosen is accredited under the specified norms.

You also need to look out for the syllabus and make sure that it suits your purpose. If you wish to join an online bachelors degree education course now, don’t hesitate start your research and enroll yourself as soon as possible.

About US Auto Insurance and the Quotes

US has a strict car insurance policy which is made mandatory in almost all states. According to their law, every person who owns a car needs to have insurance coverage. Not only that, the family members who are of age to obtain a drivers license must be covered by the insurance plan. Therefore, being a US citizen one can not but look for auto insurance quotes which suit their requirement the best.About US Auto InsuranceIn US, many types of insurance policies are available. One can go for a liability insurance plan which covers the insurance holder along with those in his family who have attained the age of holding a drivers license. However, if a member is not having his own automobile and is operating the vehicle of some one else, the coverage plan is not valid. One can also get insurance coverage from the party’s policy which covers a person when he is driving an automobile owned by that party. If someone does not have his own car, he can have non-owners policies, which are especially useful to those whose drivers’ license has been suspended.Some car insurance companies give full coverage to rented cars which are established in advance. Other car insurance policies offered in the US states cover for the automobile’s bodily injury, property injury and other damages caused by an accident. Other forms of insurance policies available in US are loan/lease payoff coverage, car towing coverage or Roadside Assistance, auto policy and behavior based insurance coverage. With so many policies, one can also get a variety of auto insurance quotes to choose from.How to get the best auto insurance quoteGetting the auto insurance quotes of various insurance companies is not a tough matter. Nowadays, automobile insurance quotes are easily available in websites on internet. All one need to do is click on the website and choose his state (only applicable to US citizens). He would be required to fill an online questionnaire which is nothing but a set of simple answers relating your requirements. This questionnaire will be sent to the respective companies of the state. They would receive it and send the auto insurance quotes available for those companies. A person can evaluate these automobile insurance quotes and compare them at the same time. If he is interested in any particular quote that satisfies his requirements then he can make a purchase. The steps are simple and hassle-free.There are ample such websites which will offer you auto insurance quotes that range from very expensive to cheap rates. It is a common tendency of people to go for the cheapest auto insurance quotes available without considering the other factors. One should avoid this and go for that quote which is both affordable and ideally satisfies his requirements. These are common pitfalls that one should not fall in.Auto insurance quotes depend on many factors which influence their rates. The factors include the driver’s history, make and model of the automobile and the location. It has been found that the auto insurance quotes offered in different states of US are different. Therefore, before settling down with a policy one must carefully do a research in the market and find out the latest trend.