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How P&G, Ford and Wendy's Are Redefining Value

April 21, 2013

Ever since McDonald's started serving up 59 hamburgers and supermarkets launched private-label lines, value has come to mean one thing -- cheap. But a new realization is sinking in among marketers: It can't stay that way if brands are going to survive the dodgiest economic-recovery narrative this side of Lindsay Lohan.

America's top marketers, from Procter & Gamble to McDonald's and Ford Motor Co., are trying -- with varying degrees of success -- to shift consumers' perception of value from a product that's bargain-priced to one that's convenient, efficacious or high-quality enough to command a premium price.

Brands can no longer bide their time, fending off store-brand options while waiting and hoping for consumers' wallets to fatten. About 40% of the U.S. population is still downtrodden, concerned or otherwise worried about their financial futures, according to IRI research.

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