Djcnor’s Weblog

When Does Brand Loyalty Make Sense?

Posted on: December 14, 2008

Does it ever? In a comment on my last posting, Kennedy121 (who is 23, which might or might not be significant, said:

“I think it’s only generations before mine which hold any real feeling for the brand (which is bizarre in itself, as with any brand). ”

Personally, I think brand loyalty makes a lot of sense in some cases. I also think that lucky companies in possession of such a rare commodity are in an ideal position to ride through this economic downturn if they play it smart. They can probably get away with making very few changes to their products, crowdsourcing approval for those few changes from their loyal customers, and count on them to stay. Before this downturn, so many companies were all about growth, gaining new customers, and pretty much took the old ones for granted. If that changes…..

Well, if that changes, maybe I’ll be able to go back to Birkies. A few seasons ago, a Birkie sandal took off among fashionistas. I thought that was fabulous. I hadn’t worn anything but Birkies for years and years, though I freely admitted they weren’t the most attractive shoes. They just felt really good. When they came up with shoes other than sandals, I had been estatic. Finally, I could give up wearing my sandals till my toes froze! But in the end, it wasn’t a good thing. I can still wear the sandals, though they’ve stopped making the wide footprint I used to wear.  But I can’t fit into their closed shoes anymore. They’ve changed the fit and abandonned this once loyal customer. I haven’t really found a substitute. The last two winter’s, I’ve worn Crocs with heavy socks.

One of my favorite sites, Fashion Incubator,

http://www.fashion-incubator.com/

talks about how much loyal customers depend on the companies they buy from to maintain the fit that works for them. I challenge even 23-year-olds to deny that they have any brand loyalty to any particular brand of blue-jeans.

So clothing is one of those areas in which brand loyalty makes sense, as long as the brand receiving that loyalty maintains the fit that brought you to the company in the first place.

What else? Computers. I’m a mac person. I have been since I saw the desktop at a scientific convention. I’ve never had one die. Each one has been passed on as my needs outpaced its capacity. For all I know, they’re still running. When you find consistent quality, brand loyalty makes sense as long as that quality remains consistent.

I’m also loyal to Whole Foods, whatever that says about me. In that case, my loyalty is based on both consistent quality and the way the employees are treated.

My dad was always loyal to Sears for Craftsman tools, as I understand many other tool users are. The quality for the price is the reason.

Humans have identities which are expressed by preferences. Data on twins and other multiples suggests that a good number of these are genetic, so there’s really no reason to feel apologetic about sticking to the brand of detergent your Mom used to buy. Maybe you’re just expressing the fact that you carry her detergent preference gene.

A human that did not express preferences might be called a generic person. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a generic. I think a lot of the large corporations would like us to be generic, utterly replaceable, at least as workers. But, as usual, they forget that we cannot be generic workers and consumers with strong preferences, the kinds that lead to brand loyalty. I intend and insist on being an original (which gets me in no end of trouble, but never mind that.)

There are two ways to do that. When I retire, and have time enough, I will wear only things I had a hand in making or customizing of. (They won’t all be purple.) This has been a dream of mine for a very long time.

But for now, I and a whole lot of other non-generic humans express a part of my identity by my brand loyalties. I think they serve a purpose. And I don’t intend to give them up.

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2 Responses to "When Does Brand Loyalty Make Sense?"

[…] Vote When Does Brand Loyalty Make Sense? […]

Now I’m confused. I thought this was a vote concerning whether brand loyalty makes sense, but it doesn’t seem to be that. What is it then? Is it someone letting me know that they thought this was a good post to call to others’ attention and the number is how many people agreed? Really?

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Djcnor’s Weblog

  • @KathrynGoldman Saw your blog post on famous people in fiction. Have character who is supposed to be dead, turns out not to be. OK? 5 months ago
  • I'm back! I haven't posted in a long time, but since Joanie Freeman and I won Charlottesville SOUP, I feel the need to return. 4 years ago
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  • RECALL LAMAR SMITH< PROPOSER OF SOPA< WHO HAS CALLED THE WEB BLACKOUT A PUBLICITY STUNT! PLEASE RT!!! 5 years ago
  • @The_Puck Same to you. You denial is damaging to yourself and all you care about, assuming there must be some of those. 5 years ago
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