Fighting Brand Names

We all have brands that we lean toward, some even downright committed to.  You may insist on buying Coca-Cola soda, Bounty paper towels, and Puffs tissues.  Brand recognition is an unconscious connection our brain makes to a product/service.  That jingle that we hear that our brain immediately associates with Company X.  And the logo that has no words, yet you only need to see a portion of it to know Company Y owns it.  There's a ton of money spent to market things "just so" for us to buy into a brand.

Brand loyalty makes sense for adults.  We may have grown up in a household that had the same brand loyalties.  Even if not, we earn a living and decide for ourselves what we're willing to pay for.  We experience each of these products for ourselves and decide whether the quality is worth the price we pay.

My struggle today revolves around why my seven year old child is obsessed with any doll she has being of the American Girl brand, or at least some association thereof.

Up until a few months ago, my daughter had never heard of American Girl.  She heard that some friends have one or more American Girl dolls and she said she wanted one.  I told her that I would not buy one, and that there were plenty of other dolls that were just as good.  She asked me why I wouldn't buy one and I told her because I thought they were too expensive.

We recently went to Toys 'R Us where we found Journey Girls.  They looked beautiful AND they were on sale!!!!  She got two girls and a total of four outfits for $50!  That's a steal.

She loves the two Journey Girl dolls, but is convinced they are American Girl dolls.  She insists on making a connection between the two.  It's as if she wants to be able to say she has an American Girl doll.

I'm being honest here.  This drives me bonkers.  I want her to appreciate what she has and not yearn to have what someone else has, just for the sake of being able to say you have a specific brand.  I could completely understand her wanting a doll if she didn't have one at all.  But, she has plenty of them, just none of the AG brand.

So, dear daughter, please know I have money because I am selective about how I spend our money.  I factor in quality as well as the joy I expect the purchase will bring.  You have plenty of dolls that are just as beautiful and half the price of AG.  And you definitely get a substantial amount of joy from playing with them.  I promise that there would be no more joy coming from an AG doll than from the dolls you have.  The only additional thing you'd get from an AG doll is bragging rights, and to be honest, I don't think spending an inordinate amount of money on a doll is something one should brag about.  (Just my $.02.  But, you are MORE than welcome to spend your OWN money on an AG doll.)

As I typed, I realized that what this comes down to is my value of frugality.  I do NOT value keeping up with the Joneses.

Be open to what comes.

Balance, Balance, Balance

The Fun of Questions