April 9, 2009

Brand Loyalty

CBC Radio's Age of Persuasion talked today about brand loyalty and how to build it through marketing. It got me to thinking what products out there have earned my repeat business over the years."

Before entering my thirties, my money had no conscience—also no permanent home in my bank account—so it would end up in the hands of whichever merchant could dazzle me in the most effective manner. Thank God there wasn't a strip joint in town, otherwise Amber and Chastity would have been the brands I stayed loyal to. Forget practicality, I was the reason people marketed towards impulse buys. Nowadays, what little money I earn has no home with those shelves at the check-out.

A brand I'm still a slave to, however, is Tim Horton's. Oh my lord, coffee has a great customer base, doesn't it? If America is overrun with Starbucks, Canada is downright infested with Timmy's. It's to the point where it is not unheard of to see a Tim Horton's directly across the street from Tim Horton's. I was once in a mall with TWO ... in the same mall! I've managed to pull back on how often I buy a double-double there, but I still manage to get in the drive-thru at least once a week. And, so long as they have the Roll Up The Rim To Win contest every year, I'm keep coming back like an addict.

In terms of writing, there isn't really any one brand with an exclusive hold on me. About the only thing I keep buying is a brand of gel ink pens from Walmart. Mainstays Office Gel 0.7mm are cheap pens, and they work great. They don't last long, but in the relatively brief period the ink lasts, they work as well or better than any other pen I have purchased over the years. I have those moral compunctions to steer clear of Walmart's soul-sucking enterprise as much as possible, but they are literally the only place I have found these pens.

Cola, potato chips, cars, computers, and other items with heavy marketing behind them aren't on my radar, as far as brand loyalty is concerned. More often than not, a store brand or previously owned equivalent with tide me over. And, it won't kill my wallet in the process. If Nike sneakers were truly worth the extravagant price, I might buy a pair ... and send a sympathy card to the tween in the Philippines who stitched them together.

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