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Can you ever trust your favourite brand?

by Bruno Deshayes on 31 Mar 2016 permalink
The people you have loved to trust may be just an empty shell. Let us look behind the scenes at some very quiet operators who are the recipients of some many famous brands outsourcing their design and production.

Ideo is a think-tank doing a lot of design work for many famous brands. So if you think a brand you love had a reputation for expertise and know-how - think again.

If you think we live in a healthy competitive market where the best design, the best quality and the best service wins the dominant market share - think again.

If you think that as a consumer you have a choice - think again. You merely have a choice of distribution channels all pumping out the same merchandise repackaged in different flavours to give you the illusion of choice...

Accountants like to set aside an amount under "goodwill" or "industrial property" to quantify the know-how of a given firm. As an investor what do you make of a company who has divested its intelligence and know-how to a third party who also works for your competitors?

The argument behind idea factories like Ideo is that it is very costly to retain the best design brains in the world and keep them busy year-in year-out. So brands have given up being competitive anymore and have surrended to a monopoly of good ideas. Perhaps they take turns in a round-robin arrangements where competitors decide between themselves who will release what and when... Definitively not a good arrangement for consumers...

If you favourite brand can't be bothered to design its own unique products anymore it appears they can't be bothered to manufacture them either. We live in a virtual world, a global village where we are at the mercy of anything happening at the other end of the globe. The following brands are listed as using Flextronics facilities: Cisco Systems, Inc, Eastman Kodak , Ericsson Telecom, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sony-Ericsson, Western Digital, Sun Microsystems - even Lego toys!

As the Icelandic volcano air travel disruption pointed out we live in an interconnected world where a Japanese car manufacturer can be held-up by parts made in Ireland and shipped by air-freight.

iPad kills

If you think you have a duty of care as a citizen of planet earth and become an environment-conscious consumer have you ever considered the plight of Chinese workers who make your iPad?

How long can companies live a double life through a carefully choreographed marketing campaign? The truth is that when you buy an iPad you are party to a scheme of slavery and mental abuse. Check out the not so glorious record of Foxconn a Taiwanese conglomerate employing 800,000 people in mainland China including those working at the massive Shenzhen complex.

So instead of advertising the virtues of Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, Cisco, etc... shouldn't we scrutinize the shortcomings of Ideo, Flextronics and Foxconn?


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