A book review of satisfaction guaranteed by susan strasser

Using the modern management language, companies began a process of vertical integration, assuming full control over the distribution chain and, sometimes, also of the retailing phase. There was a problem adding your email address. Like in the chicken or the egg problem, the rise of the mass market is deeply entangled with the birth of marketing and advertising disciplines.

They also depended on new technologies and systems, either material in the form of railroads that allowed for mail-order companies to flower and deliver cheaper goods through volume sales or legal, like court decisions that made corporations easier to form and much more effective at managing interstate businesses.

Producers then started to promote their branded products among customers using advertising and among distributors with new sales techniques. Although concerned about the continuing large volume of refuse generated now, Strasser is heartened that sorting trash for disposal has been revived, this time as a moral act and not a pecuniary one.

The role of advertising changed after the birth of the mass market, as producers aimed to create national markets for their newly branded products. The Making of the American Mass Market, Trademarks, legally established inbecame the distinctive symbols used by producers to identify their products along the whole distribution chain.

In the meantime, the developing and capital intensive industrial and agricultural sectors were striving to dispose of their products on the market. This prevented the commerce of adulterated food but also penalized the trade of bulk goods on behalf of new, industrial products. Covering the intersection of business practices and lifestyle, she focuses more on new approaches business management than on lifestyle, the usual center of attention, which may broaden her audience to those interested in business in general.

In conclusion, Satisfaction Guaranteed is a recommended book for anyone interested in the study of the origin of the mass market and its consequences. She not only sorts what was trash in the 19th century, but tracks how and why what is defined as garbage expanded from a few shards of broken crockery buried in the backyard to landfills full of computers and disposable diapers.

These innovations were induced big changes in the consumption behaviors of American families. Since the beginning of XIX century, advertisements were published, in dedicated sections in newspapers.

Described in detail are thrifty habits of 19th-century families, who refashioned worn or used objects of every description from broken bottles could be made into funnels and bowls to tired party dresses.

New products included chewing gums, corn flakes, disposable razors, and cameras. By the end of the century, magazines had become the most important media for diffusion of advertising. Their purpose was to inform people about the local availability of new products, often imported from abroad.

The other fundamental factor for the sustainability of the system was distribution.


Traded across the newly formed domestic markets were primary goods, such as foodstuffs and clothes. Children scavenged back alleys to find castoffs, especially scrap metal, that could be sold for a few pennies. What kinda cow makes that?

The unanswered questions are how did we became consumers? Between andAmerican production of iron increased sevenfold, the production of paper ninefold, of oil fourfold.

Retailers too were forced to change by the new production regime. And how and when did marketing determine this change? A product, also a very simple one, differs from commodity for the presence of atrademark.

Rummaging through the trash barrel of history has unearthed some choice, if occasionally dry, morsels of 20th-century culture. Given these conditions, two factors became fundamental for the self-sustainability of the system: Often disorganized, stores were family run businesses, without strict accountability systems, where prices were set through individual negotiations with clients.

This by no means detracts from its appeal as an introduction to the origins of mass consumerism in America, however. Through an extraordinary collection of case studies, Susan Strasser traces the development of our modern consumption habits.

Wholesalers were simple intermediaries of commodities, interested in buying at the best price and supplying their customers with continuity. Why did we substitute self-production with consumption? The new production regime required a change of the actors constituting the so called supply chain, transforming wholesalers from simple middlemen of commodities into product promoters.

Unlike her previous workers, however, here Strasser presents a critical business history, rather like Straight Out of the Oven or Cheap. While reconstructing the distribution chain, producers also fought on the political level, asking for more restrictive trade and commerce laws.

Prior to the Civil War, only upper class families bought artifacts produced in factories, and most of the time they were luxury goods produced abroad e.

As newspapers began to draw more revenue from ads, the price to their consumers dropped and their social complexion changed, giving rise to new newspaper formats that appealed to a mass readership, like the tabloid, which also permitted an ever greater integration between ads and articles.

A wave of consumerism followed WWII, and the current wave of recycling is an offshoot of the countercultural s, says Strasser. Starting from the mid-XIX century, Susan Strasser analyzes how consumption habits changed after the second industrial revolution.

Susan Strasser

Another novelty was that of the brand name or trademark, which could be used to build a reputation for quality. This was the case throughout most of the 19th century:The book is amply illustrated with black and white reproductions of period ads, photographs, and cartoons. Source material is referenced with unnumbered endnotes; there is no separate bibliography or list of suggested readings.

The book includes an index. I found reading this. The Paperback of the Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market by Susan Strasser at Barnes & Noble. Susan Strasser teaches history at the University of Delaware.

Los Angeles Times Book Review “Satisfaction Guaranteed brings the subject of mass-market society out of the clouds of theory and down to earth. This book is a history of marketing when the USA was developing after the Civil War until the 's.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

It starts real good, but about 2/3's of the way through, it starts to drag. I am not quite sure why/5. This item: Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market by Susan Strasser Paperback $ Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).

Ships from and sold by mint-body.com(3). This sweeping history provides the reader with a better understanding of America’s consumer society, obsession with shopping, and devotion to brands.

Focusing on the advertising campaigns of Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Wrigley’s, Gillette, and Kodak, Strasser shows how companies created both national brands and national markets.

Susan Strasser is the author of the award-winning Never Done: A History of American Housework and Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market.

Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Nation.4/5(2).

A book review of satisfaction guaranteed by susan strasser
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