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Major appliances: brand names, model numbers, Consumer Reports...

by Todd Frederick

As the owner of a small major appliance repair company that thinks big, I was asked to write a post about appliances, so I thought I would start with some big ideas that may come as a surprise to some readers: the incredible amount of brand engineering within the industry, and just how few models there really are out there.

Brand engineering is the art of assigning multiple brand names to a particular machine. Whirlpool has this down to a science, and that means that the same machine can show up in various stores under different brand names that they own, such as Whirlpool, Maytag, Jenn-Air, Kitchenaid, Admiral, Amana, and many others.  And for all you Canadians, Inglis is just Canuck for Whirlpool.

Whirlpool also sells their machines under private labels. At one time, Costco sourced their Kirkland brand from Whirlpool, and even now Ikea sells...