It’s All About That Buck

There seems to be a new mentality taking over in the way products and services are marketed today.

It’s bad enough that companies use trickery to sell their products. If the question is “how do we make more money?”, those creative minds have endless solutions. Lessening quantities rather than raising the prices is one popular way that comes to mind. The ‘new and improved’ look of a package only tells me to look for how much less is inside. The boxing of packages to display a larger look is good for a chuckle, too. With all the waste in the world, how economical is it to use both a package and a box for a product? And flashback: filling packages with air (a trend set way back by the chip companies). The tactics are endless. One of the latest is the companies adding water to sauces and spice mixes. Chicken soup mix in powder form was great. All you had to do was add boiling water. Did people suddenly decide it was too hard to add water and demand the companies to add the water for us? Doubtful. People don’t ever demand better anymore. They don’t demand anything. They just accept what’s out there. Buy it or leave it on the shelf for that one idiot that is sure to come along soon because they’ve ‘got to have it’. Do the companies care? Nope. It’s all about that buck.

Noticed those gorgeous sleek plastic containers with gaps on the bottom and curved in all the right places? It’s called ‘illusion’. You’re actually getting less. That’s what all those gaps are for. Less product inside, versus the old plain design. Look at the quantity. Cereal boxes are thinner on the sides than they used to be. You only notice this after you go to pick it up (if you’re paying attention). Again, look at the quantity. I could go on for days but I’m sure you get the point. It’s all about that buck.

As if all that isn’t bad enough, in their ads, they tell you what to buy and where to buy it but what they’re not telling you anymore is just what makes their product better than the others on the market. You’re the consumer and they’re telling you what to do. What’s wrong with this picture? Shouldn’t you be telling them what to do? Money doesn’t just fall from the sky for me. I work hard for it, so I want the best bang for my buck. When did selling your product become a lost art? Since when do consumers need to be told what to do? Companies should be using creative ideas to improve their products, not finding the cheapest materials and trickery in what’s blatantly obvious to feeding their bottom-line. They should be competing for our business, not bullying us around. It’s all about that buck.

It all starts with marketing and even the ads speak volumes to the true character of these companies. Their agenda could not be more transparent. Television ads, for example love to pitch the same themes over and over for each product out there. But what do “You need this” and “Because you’re worth it” really mean?

Translation: “You need this” = we are trying to brainwash you into buying this crappy product which has no selling value, so we must try to appeal to you submissive idiots who always do what you’re told.

“Because you’re worth it” = We made it damn expensive but will appeal to that self-pampering, entitled nature we know lurks deep inside you.

Ads never target their male audience with this type of nonsense. For some reason, men hear the translation right away. “You’re worth it” says “It’s a rip-off. Steer clear”.  Admittedly, I often take that male approach, rather than my life savings, shopping with me. If the price isn’t right, wait until it comes down. If it doesn’t, screw ’em. I don’t need it that badly. I’d rather walk away with dignity.

Yes, it is all about that buck.