All-Time Best Articles on Branding, Advertising and Consumer Psychology [ARCHIVE]

This post is an organized collection all of my best writing on advertising, branding, consumer psychology--and how companies attempt to use all three against us. There are more than fifty articles below, grouped by category, all available entirely free of charge to Casual Kitchen readers.

I would be deeply grateful if you shared this archive--or any of the articles here--with anyone who you think would find it useful. The more informed we all are, the better. Don't let the consumer products industry separate you from your hard-earned money!


Fundamental Concepts:
The Do-Nothing Brand
Zombies, Processed Foods and the Advertising-Consumption Cycle
Consumers: Pay For Your Own Brainwashing! (Or Don't)

Selling Strategies of the Consumer Products Industry:
That Man Moved the Sanka!
Divorce Yourself from the False Reality of Your Grocery Store
Fair Trade: Using Poverty To Sell... More
Who Gains From Fair Trade Certified Products?
Lured By A Prettier Box
The Return of Scent

Be a Smarter, Savvier Shopper:
Why Do Products Go On Sale?
Why Spices Are a Complete Rip-Off and What You Can Do About It
Should I Be Paranoid About Grocery Store Loyalty Cards?
How to Use Grocery Store Circulars To YOUR Advantage, Not Theirs
How to Use "Doorbuster" Sales to Your Advantage
Shopping at More Than One Grocery Store: Worth It, Or a Waste?

Branding/The Emperor Has No Clothes:
The REAL Story of the Bumblebee Tuna Recall Controversy
Pabst and MillerCoors (Accidentally) Reveal an Open Secret
Aspirational Marketing and the Unintended Irony of Pabst Beer
Branding By Bad Grammar
"When U Know the Cost You Know the Margins"

Pricing Techniques and Stealth Price Hikes:
Why Davis Baking Powder Put in a 23% Stealth Price Hike
Ask CK: How Do You Like Your Prices Raised?
The Mysteriously Shrinking Hershey's Bar
Still Sixteen Ounces
What Drives Prices?

Tactics and Strategies to Fight Back:
How to Blind Taste and Blind Test Brands
Where Going Generic Works... and Where It Doesn't
Ten Thoughts On the True Value of Brands
Avoid Branded and Heavily Advertised Foods
How to Be Manipulated By a Brand

Policy and Unintended Consequences:
Banning Food Advertising Won't Work. Here's Why.
What's Wrong With the Government Limiting Food Marketing to Kids?
Survivor Bias: Why "Big Food" Isn't Quite As Evil As You Think It Is
The Sad, Quiet Death of Campbell's Low-Sodium Soup

Self-Branding and Conspicuous Consumption:
Thorstein Veblen and Conspicuous Consumption
Self Branding: "The Piles of Cash Were Fake"
Virtue Signalling

Insights into Consumer Psychology:
The High Cost of a "Feeling" of Safety
Expediency and Treadmill Effects
The Diderot Effect
Rationalization and Justification
False Comparisons and False Expertise
Value and Discounting Biases
Hedonic Adjustment
How to Defeat the Retail Industry's Ninja Mind Tricks
The Taboo Tradeoff
Bringing Partisan Rage to the Grocery Store

Consumer Empowerment:
How to Give Away Your Power By Being a Biased Consumer
Can You Resist $107 Worth of Advertising?
Do You Let Yourself Be Manipulated To Buy?
The Food Industry Should Only Sell Bad Tasting Food
Knowledge Is Power
Companies vs. Consumers: A Manifesto

"Owning" the Consumer Products Industry--Literally!
How to Own the Consumer Products Industry--And I Mean Literally Own It
How To Self-Fund Your Consumer Products Purchases

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Easy. Do all your shopping at via the links on this site! You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.

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