I am all for supporting brands you love, but let’s not get crazy and remember to reward innovation as well.
We all get hit with around 5,000 marketing messages per day, whether they are direct or indirect these calls to purchase still come your way. Some of the more established companies don’t attempt to make you take any direct action, their mission is more passive in nature and that is getting you to stick with them. For example, Coca-Cola will show a happy family dinner around Christmas or polar bears playing in the artic with only a brief showing of their classic logo as a secondary point. That is textbook branding, getting you to associate coke with family time or fun. There is nothing wrong with this, but the example below is in my opinion where it goes too far (a good example of it at least).
I have personally been in the market for a new truck, growing up “Chevy” was the household go to brand so my first thought is always them. However, from a technology standpoint, they are way behind today, roughly 10 years in the features that matter most to me such as push button start/etc…
My second choice is their biggest rival Ford, which looks and tech wise today absolutely crushes Chevrolet (looks are subjective but tech is not) and would be an easy move. Lastly, you have the red-headed stepchild of RAM trucks – formerly known as “Dodge” and perennially a distant third-place finisher in the sales charts. Ram has an all new truck for 2019 that is leaps and bounds ahead in tech/comfort, so outside of price being an issue they should be a clear winner – but the brand has a stigma for lesser quality that is hard to shake.
In reality all vehicles today should be extremely reliable, they go through countless test miles/reviews/quality control before hitting the market and anything new shouldn’t present an issue.
Longevity should also be getting close, other than perception Toyota no longer rules the long-term with an iron fist like the past. The thing to do here would be to support the clear innovator and buy Ram, but I have to get past the branding side where they are weaker and potential quality concerns.
My personal decision set aside this dilemma made me think about blind brand loyalty and what it makes us miss out on in life. One of my neighbors and good friends will likely drive a Chevy until the day he dies, he is fully bought in. This may cause him to pay more and miss out on a number of nice features that would make his automotive life easier/more comfortable potentially. He is not alone, we all do this with different things in life whether it be food/beverage/clothing/etc… Some brands have a mission specific agenda that you can get behind, Black Rifle Coffee, for example, is all for supporting the second amendment and hiring veterans so for someone like myself that is an easy brand to back – even if the coffee costs a little more. My father on the other hand will likely drink his last cup one day of folgers and never try anything else because to him “the best part of waking up is folgers in his cup”. Touche folgers, that single jingle built a lifelong business selling cheap coffee – well done!
Starbucks is a good example of a company whose brand I will vote against, their value system just doesn’t match up to mine and I will go very far out of my way to not support them – no matter how back I need that next cup of wake-up juice.
There is really nothing wrong with brand loyalty, but personally, I’m going to try and put a little more emphasis on rewarding innovation and mission specific companies versus “what I know” in the future. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, does brand really matter to you?
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