Cascading Confusion

 

I went to the supermarket earlier today to pick up a few things and one of the items was dishwashing detergent.  So I look at the Cascade pods and here are the choices I’m faced with.

Clorox-Plat-AP-300Compl-Lem-AP-300 Clorox-Lem-AP-1600

The one on the right is six times the power, the one in the middle is eight times the power and the one on the left is their platinum product;  their strongest cleaning detergent at ten times the power.

The interesting thing is that they’re all the same price and none were on sale.

Now I’m a simple guy so I’d like to ask any Cascade marketing genius out there a few simple questions.

Why would I buy something that is six or eight times strong when I can buy  what you advertise as your, ten times strong, best product, at the same price I can by the others?

Why is it necessary to create three different kinds of packaging and take up three times as much shelf space when you can market and sell your best product with one package in less space?

Is your marketing/research development departments bored or over-staffed to the extent they find it necessary to force me to put on my glasses and read the entire front package of all three items to see if there’s a small print, trick cleaning formula that’s not obvious without intense study?

What was the conversation like in the meeting room when this idea was presented to the decision makers and has the air quality in your facility been tested for long-term exposure to the particles that make up your product?

Is this your idea of a joke?

Then again, maybe I’m missing a bigger picture.

Or not.

 

58 thoughts on “Cascading Confusion

  1. A.PROMPTreply

    You just want clean dishes, right? I mean why do they have to make it some sort of detergent I.Q. test so that you have to walk out of there insecure that you’ve made the wrong choice. ….oh, don’t get me started on this! And 6, 8, 10 x the power of what? I mean come on.

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  2. sportsattitudes

    I am not exaggerating when I say each time I go to buy certain cleaning or wash products the label has changed and I have to figure out if it’s new, different, altered, etc. I swear these marketing people change things for the sake of change. And every time they do all it does is cost more money to set up new manufacturing processes for packaging, labels, etc. I get change. I don’t get change for the sake of change. I also don’t get, as you say, why one “lesser” product I buy gives me back the same change than if I bought the “better” one. Bizarre.

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  3. cordeliasmom2012

    Makes me glad I don’t have a dishwasher. Although even the hand-dishwashing liquids have the same range of products and strengths, as do laundry detergents. I just want something that works, I really don’t care about the pretty packaging and false claims.

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  4. Carrie Rubin

    This drives me crazy too. Why does every product have to have so many choices? You have to have a PhD to shop for toothbrushes now. So many different types. I just want toothpaste with fluoride. That is all. :/

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      1. Pistachios

        That reminds me – we have a brand of Advil here called Nurofen which used to market itself in about five different types of packaging (“Nurofen for headache”, “Nurofen for back pain”, etc etc) but they were all essentially the exact same thing as the original, plain Nurofen.
        Maybe the sole purpose of the lower power detergents is to make people want to buy the “higher power” one (?)

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  5. Holly'sMom

    I just pick up the store brand liquid gel bottle, bring it home and use it. Hate the little pod packets, anyway. But life is much simpler when you go for what works that is also the least expensive. 🙂 As for pain relief bottles? Ugh! You know what happened to just packaging just good ole aspirin. I remember a time when Bayer was just Bayer, but now it, too, has different packaging. It’s aspirin! Good grief! I’m not sure which is more disheartening; that these companies spend their time and money dreaming up all this stuff, or that they think we the customers are truly that stupid!

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    1. George Post author

      I really think they think we’re clueless and don’t pay attention. I have to check and see if the liquid has the the same choices as the pods. Everything now seems to be a variety of options that all leads back to the same point. It’s crazy.

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  6. Kate Crimmins

    Sure sounds like shampoos, body lotions and almost everything else I buy. If you read the ingredients, they are identical in the same order. Perhaps they want to you buy multiple packages for when you have light dirty, medium dirty or very dirty dishes.

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    1. George Post author

      You’re right, Kate…everything seems to be packaged and presented in the same confusing ways. I don’t understand the reasoning. Just give me your best product and be done with it.

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Ann Coleman

    Boy, can I relate to this! Not just dishwashing products, but so many products that offer way too many choices. And then I am stuck, standing there in the aisle of the grocery store, fishing for my reading glasses so I can try to decipher just what the heck the difference is between the different “levels” of products. And trying to understand whether the “super” or “maximum” is the best quality. Shopping is becoming far too confusing! Loved this post… You should send a copy of it to the good folks at Cascade.

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    1. George Post author

      Lol…exactly, I’m never sure what I’m buying until I take out glasses to read. Yes, shopping is not nearly as simple as it once was, but not many things are anymore.
      I should send it to Cascade. Maybe I’ll get a free years supply..:)

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  8. Carol Ferenc

    George, this reminds me of the old saying: If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullxxxx. I think they’re trying to baffle us!

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  9. uju

    This post tickles in many places 😀
    Everytime I buy certain sensitive products, I’m stuck with varieties: Medium strength
    Sensitive skin
    Super
    Normal
    Blah blah
    And then I have to spend the next several minutes wondering where I fall.

    So maybe there are sensitive silver wares too? 😛
    I swear am dazzled by fancy colours on packaging, and all these rebranding thingy could be a weird way of getting people to try out products and whatnots esp when confusion hits. I dunno. I’m going to study Behavioural Economics eventually so i can make sense of how consumers respond to marketing gimmicks.

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  10. Lori

    Oh my Lord, you’re so right, the products that do these things are endless. I mean, they do it with shavers (mens & womens), with two blades, three blades, gel strips. We just want to shave for crying out loud. Which toothpaste should I buy? The one for whitening? For strengthening enamel? For tarter? I don’t know if the prices are different, but I just want one simple product.

    Great post, George, and humorous too. We have to laugh at this crazy society sometimes. 😛

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    1. George Post author

      I agree, Lori… This stuff infiltrates almost everything we buy. Just give me your best, put it in one container and we’re done. I don’t need all the other dancing that goes on.

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. Hugh's Views and News

    I have a feeling that maybe these products should not have all been for the same store, George. I visit different supermarkets and am always amazed by how I see different versions of products in each one. Also, as here in the UK, a retailer can not put an item on sale unless it’s been at the full price for at least 21 days (unless it’s an introductory product). Sounds like this company need a ‘Common Sense’ department.

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  12. gpicone

    Companies like Cascade (or whoever makes Cascade) have contracts with stores that require the stores to put their products on the shelves. The more products, the more shelf space needed which forces competitors off the shelves (especially generic brands or those not large enough to provide products nationwide to giant grocery chains) Each one of those Cascade products is probably the same (or just about the same) formula in a different package. That’s why you see so many varieties of Coke and Pepsi for example. They are doing their best to monopolize shelving space. That’s capitalism!

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    1. George Post author

      Capitalism at its best. I don’t mind monopolizing the shelf space. I’d just prefer that do it with one product since the formula is the same. I’m not a fan of smoke and mirrors.

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  13. roughwighting

    The problem with this kind of marketing/packaging, when we take the time to think about it as you do here, is that we can tell how stupid the marketers think consumers are. They are ‘duping’ us and think we don’t know it. Ohhh, we know it. And we are smirking back.

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  14. In My Cluttered Attic

    George, this is why I let my wife do the shopping for the dish washing soap. She has the higher IQ in our family by far. I’m just not capable of making such big decisions like this. Whenever my wife decides she doesn’t want to go shopping for dish washing soap, I remind her that I was terrible at science in school, and that I must have been absent the week they discussed the secret enzymes Cascade uses in their formulas. This excuse works great—provided we do need food or something like it. Then you need to tell her how you failed Home Economics too.

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