Money College: College students on a budget change thinking on family brands

carChildren are known for being curious. They remember the products you purchase, use extensively, and take special note of the items you loathe and throw away with disgust.

All of these observances come in handy when they head off to college and/or start life on their own. But the real question is whether or not students on a budget will purchase the cherished brands that have been used by their parents, or choose the more affordable store brands.

Generally there is a bias among young shoppers when it comes to staple products like cleaning, hygiene, and food. If you grew up with a particular brand of soap, chances are that you will continue to use it; even if there is a cheaper alternative.

What cost less is deemed to be of less quality compared to the "family brand." Food is an interesting topic, because students who are away will most likely purchase food that mom uses as a way to create their own homemade inspired meal. Clothes are different because students tend to develop their own style which may change as they assimilate into different cultures while away on their own.

Consumers develop an attachment to the products they grew up with. The companies that make these products have tapped into this marketing concept. The "family products" are not necessarily family owned, but are handed down through families.

Aunt Jemima syrup, Heinz Ketchup, and Kellogg's are made famous because they have been around for years. The commercials usually feature children at a kitchen table with mom. This reminds us of those childhood moments of eating breakfast before school; a living style you wish to continue and pass on to your children.

Brands are an integral part of our family lifestyle and society becomes loyal to these products. This makes it difficult for new, cheaper products to enter the market. Trust is very important to the consumer, and if mom says don't trust strangers, chances are we won't be too fond of a new brand.

This theory is first seen among young people starting life on their own, and college students in particular. The past becomes more apparent when you are instantly separated from it. Consumer psychology involves so many life factors in which brands are always lurking in the background. Our lives were always controlled by brands.

Eventually, there comes a time where the usual family brands are ditched for a more elite product. As consumers age, they become more health conscious. The family brands are replaced with the new wave of organic products. And now the well aged family brands fight to stay alive in the modern market. More attention is placed on nutrition facts and the origin of production.
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