"I shop St. Vinny's because it's great for the planet! I shop St. Vinny's because of the great variety! I shop St. Vinny's because it's fun!"
Nowhere in that ad is the most obvious reason for shopping at a thrift store stated: "Because I'm poor."
I say that even though I'll continue to shop St. Vinny's after The Sconz overtakes Apple as America's best-known brand and I make billions. According to the ever-imperfect but relevant laws of the free market, the amount of money you have strongly influences what you buy.
Similarly, I recently went on a tour of the Minhas Brewery in Monroe, WI. The 160-year-old facility (whose Canadian ownership I blogged about last year) is best known for its bottom-of-the-barrel brews, most notably Mountain Creek and Huber. I only had to take a quick dip in Mountain Creek my freshman year to understand that Blatz was worth the few extra cents.
Unfortunately, the tour completely neglected its brands greatest asset: Low prices. Instead it focused on something they lack entirely: Quality.
For shame. Their ads, in which angry consumers demand lower beer prices, were a refreshing break from the false advertising that we get from Bud, Miller and Coors. Unfortunately, their brewery tour was eerily similar to Miller's nonsensical "Triple Hops Brewed" jibber-jabber.
It's not that a brewery should be expected to tout its sulfuric taste and scent, but I think it would bolster Minhas' credibility if it emphasized its strengths instead of inventing a narrative as a champion of great taste. For instance: "Minhas: Light spending and hard partying."
My advice for St. Vinny's and Minhas: There's nothing wrong with talking directly to poor people. It's a recession; there are a lot of them.