Originally Posted by sawdustfactory
Why all the brand bashing Tool? If I have discretionary income and wish to buy a Lie Nielsen or Veritas plane that is pretty much good to go right out of the box (short of sharpening), instead of finding an old Stanley or Bailey, taking the time to refurbish, possibly having to replace a blade, tote, knob or anything else, what do you care?
I don't care.
Likewise, I wouldn't care if you made a big bonfire in your back yard and just lit your cash on fire. That's your business, but that isn't 'the question' asked by this man.
If you want to buy a $25,000 wristwatch and delude yourself into believing it helps you keep better time that's certainly your business. I couldn't care any less and fully realize that the people who engage in these absurd consumer patterns have elaborately primped narratives to rationalize their superstitions (as well as a large group of 'fellow believers' to provide them with emotional support). Unfortunately, I spent way too many moons working in strategic marketing and brand awareness here in Chicago. My exposure to 'the truth' woke me up.
I've seen the wizard behind the curtain that very, very, very few people have, as far as how 'high end' brands, manufacturers and marketers convince you that their product is better. It amounts to a tiny group of incredibly intelligent and creative people figuring out ways to separate the hoi polloi from their money, usually via leveraging psychological fragilities relating to ones self-worth and how people identify themselves with the status associated with what they own.
There used to be two main brands of mustard, both yellow, costing under $1. In the 1980's, Grey Poupon came along and seized about half of the market share for mustards in the space of a year- a virtually unheard of marketing feat for a food product. They put it in a little glass jar rather than a plastic squeeze bottle, implied it was European even though it was made in California and instead of charging $1 for it, they charged $4. Turns out that even something as ordinary as sandwich mustard can become a vehicle for peoples 'aspirations'.
This is metaphorical for basically every product sold on the 'high end'. The rub is, when it comes to actually plane that wood, swing that golf club, drink that wine, play that guitar or wear those shoes, the 'stratospheric' brands usually have a hard time making a practical case for themselves.
Here's Lie Nielsen's $85 hammer.
I'm sure the people who buy it talk all about how it has such a special 'balance' and 'feels so good in their hands' and is able to strike so 'accurately', too. Nobody's making the case that we should pass a law forbidding them from buying it, but don't wonder why some people shake their heads and chuckle when they do.