Friday, 13 May 2016

The Power of Labels

I find it curious and amusing that a product's quality tends to be overlooked if it has a trendy brand name or logo. Everywhere you turn big names like Dre's Beats, Mac, Ralph Polo Lauren, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana bombard billboards and shop corners. Odds are you have purchases more than one of their products or from brands of similar popularity. Most often you might just assume since the thing cost you an arm and a leg that the quality is paralleled. From personal experience and observation I can say confidently that this is not always the case.

First let's discuss what gives the Logo's inherent value. The first step, obviously, is advertising. Take Dr. Dre for instance, or Michael Jordan. Both are very weathy; Dre is worth approximately 830 million dollars, MJ is worth nearly 10 figures. They have a deep pocket to put up some deep and far reaching adverts. An appealing, trendy advert places the product on a proverbial pedestal, makes it look desirable to the public.

In addition to adverts, an original and eye-catching design can be just as effective in distinguishing desirable products from lesser ones. Take for instance, the Beats Pill. The Pill was revolutionary, transforming portable audio into an aesthetically pleasing and profitable item in the electronics department. The sleek design, overhyped logo, and easily accessible size made the pill an instant trend. Note that I haven't even mentioned what the device actually sounds like when in use, or the quality of sound it provides. In spite of that, the pill was desired, popular, introducing new standards to the world or portable audio.

I have experimented with several portable audio systems and I will not hesitate to admit that the pill is a premium product. It does produce quality sound. Granted, it may not be the "best bang for the buck", if you catch my drift.

I own a small portable speaker from Altec Lansing (What the hell is that?) Mini H2o. Odds are you have probably never heard of this brand before. Admittedly, before I saw it on display at a local Target, I hadn't either. It is rather rather small, fitting nicely into the palm of your hand, complete with a cute little carabiner you can clip to something if circumstances permit. The speaker is also waterproof, floats on water, and can be tossed and chucked with little to no damage. It has a 6 hour battery life, like its Pill equivalent. It costs only 40 USD, which sounds questionable when considering the Pill costs at its cheapest in the 75-120 USD range. The catch? The audio the H2o delivers is admittedly subpar compared to the pill. With that being said, with its smaller size and friendliness with mother nature, it redefines the word "portable". You can take it rock climbing, white water rafting, wind surfing, you name it. I am an outdoorsy, adventurous person so its subpar audio can be overlooked. Moreover, they have several bigger sizes as well. The next two sizes up are also waterproof and can easily compete with Beats or even Bose audio (which are never waterproof) while being 20-30 USD cheaper.

Consider the fact that you have never even heard of the company Altec Lansing before I mentioned it. I hope I have at least triggered some curiosity about the brand and what it has to offer. This is just one prime example of what poor advertising and hasty designing can do for your products. At any rate, I own an Altec Lansing product and not a Beats product--and I have no regrets.


  1. Good points as well as product reviews. Well done.
    Unc Kevin

  2. Thanks Scott.. These are good considerations. Just needs a tiny edit, if you are able to edit after posting, and I already spoke about the double hockey sticks. :). You should share the link with Altec Lansing, and any others you argue have a higher quality product. Keep up the good work.