Manufacturing guy-at-large.

commodities dressed up in premium packaging

Added on by Spencer Wright.

Adam Davidson is one of my favorite journalists.  the NPR podcast he co-hosts, Planet Money, is consistently entertaining and insightful, and his nytimes pieces are similarly compelling.  last week, he published a piece on the 2013 Brooklyn Baby Expo, which explored the ways in which consumer products - specifically those geared towards expecting parents - differentiate themselves.  

Nearly every product we buy — from coffee and cereal to hotel rooms and cars — is a commodity dressed up in premium packaging, Oster pointed out. But with baby products, the process is intensified. Kellogg’s, Ford and Starbucks can spend years tempting a consumer, but baby companies have a short window — often just the few weeks before a due date — to capture expecting parents’ attention.

paying attention to the methods by which the products i care most about keep my attention has, for me, been highly rewarding, and has informed my own ideas about the products I have created.  i encourage you, dear reader, to consider the extent to which the products you offer (and we all offer products, in both our personal and professional lives) are differentiated by their content, as opposed to just by their packaging.