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And by C, I mean commodity.  Nobody wants to be one.  It seems like online travel company has become the latest victim of this aversion.  There are literally dozens of travel websites out there these days that provide the exact same service – Travelocity and Orbitz, to name a few.  That’s because nowadays, more travel is sold over the Internet than any other consumer product, because it’s the perfect medium for it – bringing a vast network of suppliers and a widely dispersed customer pool together into a centralized marketplace. Recently, though, Expedia has been advertising as though they are the best thing to happen to travel since the inflatable neck pillow.  It claims that where you book your travel actually matters, that it isn’t selling a commodity, but rather selling a brand.  But I’m just not seeing it. Think about it: The last time you walked in to a hotel, be it the W or the Holiday Inn, did anyone look down on you or tell you you’re an idiot for booking at Orbitz instead of Expedia? Short answer: No. Expedia is desperately trying to differentiate, but fundamentally, Expedia is a commodity, competing exclusively on price and convenience.  Customers simply don’t care where they book if the price is right.

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