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Business Makeover: Name Brands

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If it's broke, fix it.

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Recession-conscious consumers are just saying no to their high-maintenance tastebuds and embracing low-cost store brands.

Burt Flickinger, a retail consultant, told the New York Times that widespread inflation will prompt Americans to "switch from red meat to pork to poultry to pasta - then to peanut butter and jelly. It hasn't gotten to human food mixed with pet food yet, but it is certainly headed in that direction."

It's bad enough that Brand X Marshmallows and Stars have replaced Lucky Charms on the American breakfast table.

With consumers flocking to inexpensive alternatives, how can name brands entice them back?

Every time you hear "They're grrreat!" Kellogg's is paid a hefty royalty. On the other hand, training a real-life tiger to eat Frosted Flakes on command is a one-time cost.

Higher prices have customers wary of even entering a supermarket. That's why you should sell your products from unmarked vans in nearby alleyways.

Generic brands often mimic the iconic logos and trademarks consumers have come to associate with quality. But now that they're gaining momentum with bargain hunters, brand names need to do some mimicking of their own. Try Traitor Joe's, Hold Foods and Cost Go.

Produce companies like Chiquita face year-round competition from farmers markets. However, very few markets can boast a bevvy of strapping, high school-aged stockboys just waiting to serve a cougar's every need.

Even famous slogans may be too weak for this ultra-competitive environment. "With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good" is simply no match for "With a name like Smucker's, you can bet your sweet ass it will be the best thing you've ever tasted."

Ditch costly organics. Say yes to preservatives.

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