I was trying to start my Poulan chain saw the other day and after an hour or so I gave up, marching to the internet to look for local service companies. Another surprise: for the life of me I couldn’t find the headquarters or any real contact information. I decided to Google some to find out if the company was owned by another company. My tail led to what is all too often becoming a normal occurrence these days: a well known brand is actually owned by a holding firm or a hedge fund that has absolutely no interest in “servicing customers”.
This is starting to bug me. More and more traditional American brands are owned by companies who are far removed from being experts in the product category. VF Corporation is a local example in North Carolina who collects brands without any deep interest in furthering the category. Check out: Hoover vacuum cleaners, Lenovo’s Ideapad (look who owns the company), Hummer & Land Rover, Revlon, Dirt Devil and United Colors of Benetton.
Buying from people you know may take on a greater significance in purchasing decisions in the future if the economic sentiment continues to wane. What once was the domain of the corporate buyer, that is, someone who required service guarantees and a trustworthy ethic, may spill into the general consumer buyer marketplace. (See previous Best Buy blog entry) Buying from real people who are committed to your satisfaction because it DIRECTLY impacts their livelihood may be a trend in the making. I know it is for me. I no longer wish to purchase (harder said than done I know) brands I do not know who is behind the brand. I no longer wish to buy from people who I do not have a personal relationship with. I no longer wish to buy products that do not come with service and a real contact name.