Good – $12.45. Better – $19.95. Best – $24.68. One of America’s largest retail catalog stores has used this method of upgrading for years. How many of us would settle for the least expensive item when, for only a few dollars more, we can have the best? It allows a tremendous boost to our ego when we are able to say that the one we selected is “top of the line.”
However, in many cases; there is very little difference. More chrome on the “Better,” and the words ELITE on the “Best,” but the inner workings are identical. Performance from any of the three is essentially the same, so why are we obsessed with the idea that only the “Best” will serve our purpose? One theory is that if it is priced higher, it must be of better quality.
This is exactly what the manufacturing plant had in mind when they diverted some items from the assembly line in order to place on each the ELITE sticker; therefore, assuring appeal to the ones of us who scoff at ownership of second best. Since manufacturing costs are the same with the exception of the small amount of chrome and a three cent sticker, the profits are much greater. Dependency on our fetish for ownership of the; “top of the line,” has caused sales to skyrocket for the “Better” and the “Best.”
Recently another method of advertising has surfaced: It is the listing of certain items with the words, “Choice of Professionals.” If the repairman sports these tools or equipment; the die is cast. His hammer must be better than the one which we own that was rated as “Good.” After all, he depends on it for his livelihood. Perhaps the ownership of this high-quality hammer is responsible for his professional status. With this in mind, we rush to the store and make our purchase. We return to the Shop; and retire the “Good” hammer to the depths of the unused, rusting, tools underneath our workbench: We can now proudly display our latest acquisition. At last; we will be able to “Run with the Big Dogs.”
Although little thought is given to the fact that we hardly know which end of the hammer is the business end: We nevertheless can now, inspire awe and admiration from our peers.