Oct 14 2014

Purchasing Power Reflection

Published by at 9:57 pm under Reflection Blog

While I understand that Chin’s book was published in 2001, with its featured case study done in 1992, I was disappointed to see the usage of Barbie. It’s not that it isn’t effective, but it’s just tired, especially today. Mattel just launched somewhat of a feminist Barbie, marketed under the hashtag “UNAPOLOGETIC.” Great, so now Barbie is a doctor, an astronaut, and other “surprising” non-conforming figures. Thankfully, Chin quickly mentioned other ideas that the general public is not familiar with.

During her discussion of lower-income neighborhood shops carrying off-brand items such as detergents, I was reminded of a question my high school economics teacher asked. He asked us, when shopping if our first question about a product was about price, or its effectiveness. Without giving us time to answer aloud, he told us that if our first question was about effectiveness, then we are wealthy or at the very least, “had money.” More often than not, consumers are not concerned with how well a product works, but how much of their paycheck will be spent on it.

Newhallville had two grocery stores, and despite its diversity in wealth, it was characterized by its poorest people. When thinking about what products may be found in the two grocery stores, I guessed that it may carry some more expensive goods, but that the more popular items were the ones that cost significantly less. I realize that this is the case all over America, but perhaps in Newhallville, the differences in which items consumers choose is more dramatic.

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