Web’s post the other day reminded me of one of life’s little irritations. To pull down the curtain of fictionalization for a second, one of my previous employers was involved in the photo-imaging industry. You know those kiosks where you get digital film developed? Those. Also, behind-the-counter stuff. Said employer is a relatively major player in the industry, but you have almost certainly never heard of them. Why? Because they house brand everything. If you go to Walgreens and use our product, everything will say Walgreens. Same with CVS. The former #1 player in the industry used their own well-known brand name, but #2 and #3 (who may be #1 and #2 now), one of which I worked for, don’t. Nor does anyone else I am aware of.

As a general rule, I like to patronize former employers. When I can, I get my hair cut at the chain where I used to sweep hair when I was a teenager. Some of it is simple loyalty (a couple employers I feel no such loyalty to, though – nor do I refer to them as “our”). In this case, though, it’s because I know the product back and forth. I know what it can do and I know what it cannot do as well. And it’s a product that I generally believe to be a good one. Maybe one of our (errr, their) competitors is better. But I know what I am getting when I use the product that I tested for the better part of two years.

Except that I never know if that’s what I am using. There is nowhere I can find out if that’s what they’re using. I ask the guy behind the counter and he looks at me like I am an alien. “It says CVS. It’s a CVS scanner.” Well no, it’s not. It’s a conglomeration of products that you purchased for other people. When I print something out on my printer at home, I don’t say it’s a Trumwill Printer. It’s a Canon or a Samsung (depending on which I use).

I get, of course, that they want people to believe it’s theirs. And most of the time I believe it to be harmless when companies did this. My former employer made more money on sales where this occurred, and I liked things that made my former employer more solvent. But for my particular needs, it’s kind of irritating.

Category: Market

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