Blog 142 One-stop Shopping, Brands Gone Kaput, and Old Teachers, Again
One-stop Shopping and Brands Gone Kaput
Brushing my teeth earlier today, I noticed I was using Colgate. Colgate and Crest are the two major brands on most retail shelves, though each has so many variations to fight decay, to whiten, to refresh your breath, that you almost need to be a dentist to make an informed selection.
Brushing away, I recalled brands that have disappeared from our lives. Whatever happened to Ipana, “made with Irium,” and Pepsodent “You’ll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent.” And don’t forget Squibb, “recommended by most dentists.” I would be remiss not to mention one of the very early Do It Yourself (DIY) home solutions of mixing salt and baking soda.
Here is what happened to some of those bygone brands. Way, way back, when we were all tadpoles, shopping was a series of trips to different stores to get our home needs. We went to the grocery store for food (that was all they stocked), on to the Summers Rexall Drug Store for hygiene needs—you recall those days.
Sometime in the late fifties or early sixties, some brilliant marketing strategist in the grocery industry had an epiphany—why not add drugs and other products to their shelves. Shoppers could buy toothpaste and soap and Band-Aids at one place without an extra stop at the drugstore.
Manufacturers of some brands jumped at the new marketing ploy and switched allegiance from drug stores to grocers. Not all did, however, and those brands begin to disappear. Squibb remained on the druggists’ shelves, but teethbrushers quit making the second stop on their route and Squibb disappeared from the scene.
What is the lesson here? It was one of the early lessons in the importance of distribution channels. If you want to sell your product, stay attuned to change and go with the flow of where people buy.
I don’t know what happened to Ipana, who sponsored Bob Hope’s radio show. I also know that none of us are distributing product, but you would not be reading any of this had I not looked at the tooth paste tube this morning.
Old Teachers, Again—and More Recollections on Poetry.
If you read and if you remember my last blog, I mentioned our 105-year-old teacher Mamie Brawner
from Freshman English class. A couple of you asked if I meant Mattie Sharp Brewer, but no, Mattie Sharpe was only 82 and taught senior English. I had intended to get out the year book and scan in Mamie’s photo so that you might recall her. As might be expected, the photo in the yearbook was taken when Jefferson opened in 1932 and did not truly represent her appearance. If time presents, I may scan her and other teachers later.
Reflecting on Mamie, I remembered that her poetry discussions is where we learned about tintinnabulation and onomatopoeia. Almost seventy years later, I have no clue what they mean, but I do remember the words—and I was able to write them here thanks to the spell-checker.
Mattie Sharp Brewer was beloved by most and was far and away one of the top two or three teachers at a school where almost all of the faculty were the cream of the crop.
Thinking about the superb teachers we had at Jeff, other memories come to mind, but those I will save for another installment.
Until next time…