The Logical Conclusion of Marketing?

My copy of CGM arrived right on time in the mail yesterday, meaning that I get to see it about 2 weeks after everybody has thoroughly discussed Tom Chick’s latest column. Anyway, what I found even more interesting than Tom’s flailing career as an inter-galactic restaurateur, was Jason Cross’ review of that Hornet “LAN party” PC.

It wasn’t the technical specs or performance of the pc that interested me, it was that Hornet will charge you an extra 5 bucks if you want the computer shipped without that dumb Hornet-boy logo slapped on the front. This makes me wondering if marketing has come full circle. Being the oldest, crotchiest guy around here, I remember a time when consumer’s didn’t pay a premium for items that had a manufacturer’s name or logo prominently displayed on them. If clothing had a big logo on it (other than a sports team), it meant you probably got it for free. Sometime in the 70s and 80s, the marketing geniuses at Nike and other companies changed that in a big way.

Now Hornet is charging extra for a logo-less pc. At first blush, this seems ridiculous. It’s gotta cost more to manufacture it with the logo, right? But, of course, the difference in manufacturing cost with logo and without can most likely be measured in pennies. It seems pretty clear that Hornet is charging a premium for not getting the marketing they would otherwise receive if you lugged the pc with logo to your next LAN party. So what’s next? Nike offering a premium-priced line of clothing without the Swoosh? I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

It’s gotta cost more to manufacture it with the logo, right?

Unless the cases are somehow mass-produced, and ones without the logo have to be done in some manual fashion. It actually might cost a little bit more.

Or, maybe you’re spot-on with your observation. Just presenting another viewpoint.

There have always been people (well, since I was a teen at least, back in the '70s) that demanded car dealers not apply or at least remove the dealer sticker/emblem/whatever ballyhooing where the care was purchased. Some dealers were very pissy about it and even charged extra to have it taken off.

Of course, they want the free advertizing.

I’d just charge them $15 to not put a “SUCKS!” sticker just below it.

Those car dealer stickers seem to be a Midwest & East coast thing. No dealer in California will dare put more than a license plate frame on the car.

Once we had my wife’s crappy Dodge Shadow (sorry, don’t mean to be redundant) in the dealer’s shop to have a failed cylinder replaced. They had the car for three or four weeks, stored it outside, didn’t clean up the engine compartment (dirt, grease, pieces of paper towel stuck in spots, wires not replaced in the harness). Even the inside of the car was filthy, including greasy footprints on the driver’s side carpet. I’m standing there, flabbergasted, and I notice that they have put one of the dealership’s license plate frames on the car. I went beserk. I’m yelling at them about how they claim they don’t have time to clean up the car, but they still had time to put the fucking license plate frame on! I literally tore the frame off with my bare hands, and I had to twist it back and forth for about a minute to get the damn thing to break. Finally it came loose, leaving a big chunk. We left the chunk on there for the rest of the time we owned the car, just so we could bad mouth the dealer when people asked about it. Fuckers.

Wow, the computer case thing is absurd.

I think the Naomi Klein book “No Logo” was remarkably stupid, but I hate hate hate logos on stuff I own. Don’t ask me why; it just drives me into fits of rage.

But those QT3 shirts drive chicks wild! I imagine wearing one of those while meeting Tom’s family would drive them into a frenzy.

My wife belongs to the Old Navy Athletic Club, swim team, some Gap-related soccer team. Or at least her T-shirts do. I don’t know where she finds the time.

Supertanker, I feel your pain. In the 1970s I ended up with a '76 Dodge Aspen, one of the most horrid “cars” (and I use the term loosely) ever foisted on an unsuspecting public. Trips to the Dodge dealer were akin to Dante’s foray into Hell, only not nearly as poetic. And they were frequent, as Chrysler products of that era were about as reliable as Aeroflot jets.

Well, I was just going to suggest reading that book. Regardless of what one might think of the views expressed, it does give what I found to be a good account of modern marketing practices.

Why did you find the book remarkably stupid, by the way?