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Hi, I'm Danielle (a writer, digital marketer, casual runner, and whatever other labels you want to pick and choose from). I also happen to be transsexual. I have a sneaking suspicion that it'll be a while until I publish my first best seller, so in the meantime, here are my thoughts on everything.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Fruit of the Loom undershirt. Joe Boxer, Izod, or Gap boxers. J. Crew shorts. The same worn leather belt I bought in Greece in the summer of 2001. Ralph Lauren Polo shirt. Boys XL (significantly cheaper than a Men's Small), in any color they make (I owned the rainbow). Sometimes just a Carolina t-shirt. Flip-flops. That was essentially my uniform for ten years. 

Crest Fresh Mint Pro-Health toothpaste. Mitchum roll-on deodorant/anti-perspirant. Gillette razors, Edge shaving gel. Herbal Essences shampoos and conditioners, and Garnier Surf Wax for styling. My travel kit for almost just as long. 

Tag Heuer dive watch. My only accessory, post-college graduation (before that it was a Victorinox watch).

These are the brands I grew up with, the brands I know. Now, post-transition, most all of those brands are gone. There clothes are too (except some of the smaller Carolina shirts). The travel kit still has the same toothpaste, but everything else changed, and there have been a lot of new additions. New deodorant (Dove). LOTS of different eyeliners, mascaras, powders, and so forth. Eye make-up remover (after a failed experiment with a second brand, I'm going back to Almay). I've tried a dozen different moisturizers/lotions. The cabinet under my sink is a graveyard for products that have failed the test in one way or another.

So as a marketer, this whole being a "new" woman thing is interesting to me. When I'm choosing new brands and products, why? I often used to shop based on unit price (and I still do for groceries), but now I'm more aware that sometimes you don't get more 'bang' for the buck (see failed eye-makeup remover experiment). So maybe it's exposure to advertising? Unlike many of friends who grew up as women, I haven't been *as* exposed to marketing for these categories as they have, but I'm still aware of many of the brands like Dove, Secret, Maybelleine, Cover Girl, and so forth. Though I never paid particular attention to their ads, I will admit that I did subconsciously pick up on gender cues from life that I've adopted rather quickly and unconsciously - so it's possible (and probable) that I did the same for brands.

When I ask a friend for her opinion on something, I recognize that she has been using the same product for several years, or has seen it on TV enough, that she believes it is the "best." Maybe it was passed on to her by her mother, her older sister, or her friends. For example, CHI flat-irons - which I've heard are "the best" from several sources. And maybe they *are* "the best," though it begs the question: by what metric? Effectiveness? Cost-effectiveness? The $40 off-brand one I bought off Amazon has been working great for me for the past year. I also know that reviews from "professional sources" are often useless or biased for a variety of reasons. I used to buy those reviews for work, and while the FCC has made laws for greater transparency, not everyone complies.

So will every purchase I make be influenced by my subconscious recall of ads and reviews? Recommendations? Reviews? Trial and error? Some combination thereof? Will I even be able to identify my rationale, or will it just happen?


Jenna said...

Interesting thoughts.

"So will every purchase I make be influenced by my subconscious recall of ads and reviews?"

As a marketer, you should already know the answer to this question. :)

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