Friday, September 25, 2009

Differentiated Ear Buds: Quality Propotional to Price?


Despite numerous advice from doctors and warnings from Savitha, the habit of using ear buds soon after bath does not seem to go.

Am so addicted, if I do not use it, I would get withdrawal symptoms. I have to use ear buds and soak away the water from the passage. I keep doing to the point that water flows from my eyes and then I feel heaviness in my ears.

Who said people get addicted on drugs?

I have always used Johnson's ear buds. In between I did use the local stuff which is a very "cheap" option, both cost and quality wise. Then there were these emails floating around saying that unbranded ear buds are made of recycled cotton from hospital wastes. It named an unheard infection that could be fatal. After reading one of the early forwards, I stopped purchasing that Rs. 10 for 100 pack.

Have you noticed that there is no other brand other than Johnson's visible in market? A week back I went to Apollo Pharmacy and asked for Johnson's. The pharmacist introduced me to Apollo's own branded ear buds. I was excited thinking finally there is an option. Considering Apollo Hospitals is a big brand, the product must be safe.

The ear buds, basically, has two parts - the stem and the cotton buds on the two sides. In terms of quality, Johnson's stem and the amount of cotton and the firmness with which it rolled is far superior than both unbranded and Apollo's. Apollo's stem is better than unbranded. Unbranded stems can bend with little pressure.

The most important aspect is the amount of cotton available for us. Again, Johnson's buds are safe to use and soaks more water. When the buds soak water, the cotton is compressed. If there is not enough amount of cotton, the stem can hurt the sides and the drum. To my surprise, Apollo's performance was as "good" (read bad) as unbranded products'.

In terms of packaging, Johnson's is available in the small plastic container (with about 100 sticks, I think), a large refill pack (with 60 sticks) and then small refill pack (30 sticks). Apollo was available in the small plastic container. Unbranded are available in 100s in a small polythene cover.



No guesses on price! But clearly, Johnson and Johnson rules!

That leads me to think if the quality of product or service is directly proportional to the price a consumer pays?
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