The latest podcast from Freakonomics asks (and answers) some interesting questions about the importance of brands.

The episode centres on research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, which looked at how subject matter experts tend to buy cheaper, store brand items like aspirin or kitchen staples (flour, sugar etc). The hypothesis is that these experts (Doctors or cooks in these instances) know enough to know that the store brand items are just as good as the more expensive name brands.

It raises some interesting questions about what is advertising and branding and why companies expend so much effort on it. Is it about informing consumers to help make good decisions or more nefarious with the intention to confuse and bewilder? Listen to find out…