I was scanning the web and found this tidbit. (Thanks bussorah.wordpress.com for the link). I as reminded of something much earlier in my life. I used to work for a car company in the midwest. Our company did their best to maintain quality, though we had our reservations about safety – but that’s a topic for another time. Anyways, a lady came to church and found out that I worked at this company and noted that her brother was an engineer at an American car company – which shall remain nameless, though you may guess at the description. The lady described her brother’s job as being assigned to make paint last five years. I mentioned that was a decent longevity and the lady corrected my initial impression. It was not to make it maintain for five years, but to last ONLY five years. They wanted the paint to deteriorate at the five year mark as that was considered the end of the car payments, and believed the customer needed incentive to purchase another car. My impression is that this is the behavior of a company viewing their customers as a pocketbook from which they get to remove proceeds, not an individual which they serve.
Mom and dad had a refrigerator which they had purchased after marriage, and passed off to a relative when our family outgrew it. As far as we knew, it was running 20 years later. Guess what model/company they were seeking when a new one was desired? The company was no longer there, so we had to take another brand which survived 1 year past the warrantee. At that rate, there was no brand loyalty – guaranteed.