Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I was watching a documentary on consumerism recently and I was taken with brand loyalty. There are people who are like rabid dogs over certain brands of products. It amazes me that one can be so crazy about a product that they will wear an advertisement or drive around with an advertisement on their cars. I mean, is a Kenwood radio in your car really the best thing that has ever come into your life?

This got me thinking about my own brand loyalty. I went through my kitchen looking at what sorts of brand products were in my kitchen. I also questioned the other stuff I had and if the brand was an issue when I was at the point of purchase.

I was really relieved to see there were few things that were branded on me. Here is the list:
Van Husen shirts; I like them because they don’t wrinkle.
Best Mayonnaise; I grew up with Hellmann’s, and I can rely on the taste.
Snowqualmie Falls Pancake Mix; I just like it better than other mixes.
Purina animal feeds; because they use only domestic sources for their grain.
Tillamook dairy products because they are local and don’t use milk from rBST livestock.

That’s it. Those are all the brands I am loyal to with the attached reasons. Everything else in my life can from any maker, though I do consider the corporate social conscience and lack of packaging in other purchases. But I think I remain rather unbranded. None of these companies is making their fortune from me. I buy six to eight shirts a year, I buy three jars of mayo a year and two bags of pancake mix a year. I do buy dairy products weekly, and Purina probably gets the lion share of my animal feed money.

How brand loyal are you?


Blogger Hahn at Home said...

I'm with ya' on the mayo. Used to be a Kraft girl until they added the lemon. Who asked them to?

I was a Bose speakers girl from early on--now that I'm deaf in one ear, it doesn't matter so much.

And, I love Weber's horseradish mustard. Of course, you can only get it in the NE and I live out West, so I have to call upon my ex's family to send it to me--the main reason I remain in contact! So Machiavellan of me.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree on the mayo too, but I don't eat much mayo anymore. We only buy Purina feeds for all of our animals.

I just realized that we seem to be stuck on Behr paint from Home Depot. My daughter will only drink Rice Dream rice milk.


6:58 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

I am not a brand type person. I shop for whats cheapest generally. Wine is the only branding I participate in....OH yeah and I have to use CloseUp toothpaste. I dont know what I would do if they ever stop making the stuff.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm not particularly loyal to any brand but I confess - I prefer buying Canadian products, if possible.
I hate being a walking advertisement for any company.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

Several years back, my oldest daughter and I stopped at a motorcycle shop to look at bikes.
I settled on one that looked interesting.
After the salesman had gone down the list of features, wouldn't you know it:
"....AND, remember. You will become one of the Harley Davidson family!!" he said.
I told him that I was just as likely to sand the name off of the tank and paint "Gearhead" on it.
His face displayed such horrid shock; he's probably still seeking therapy.
"Its not about the motorcycle. Its about the motorcyclist." I blurted.

Footnote: I ended up buying a Suzuki crotch rocket. :-Q

8:51 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Lori, I'd probably have more if I lived on the East Coast, like Dia Day Duck Sauce, and Thomas's Protien Bread.

Love A and Auntie, nice short lists.

Beth I commend you for shopping locally, I do the same here trying to buy Oregon products.

That is so Gearhead. Great story, man. I could see you doing it, even to the killer truck.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They say NASCAR fans are the most stand by their brand people in the land. Personaly I haven't been much into auto racing since Parnelli Jones retired in 1970, but I will confess to buying a lot of Henry Weinhards back when the Blazers were red hot and rolling. There has been a disturbing trend the past 15-20 years where someone buys a long respected name and then puts it on a basically generic product manufactured by slave labor somewhere in Asia and makes millions running it into the ground. Certain companies however have a commitment to quality and consistency that warrants respect. Fender guitar amplifiers regardless of size or price always sound fantastic, a Stihl chainsaw will never let you down. If Ed Overbay or Levi Roberts build your cabinets you know the pride of workmanship is second to none. It's people like that and company's with a commitment to their workers that keep the brand concept alive.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Zoe said...

I am brand loyal to detergants, soaps, deoderants, lotions, and shampoos but mostly because I am sensitive to scents and have all kinds of allergies.

I buy local when I can. Most other things I wouldn't say I'm brand loyal, but if a brand has a bad reputation I stay away from it.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Zoe said...

Oh wait. I am very brand loyal to Coca-Cola. I will not buy any other brand. And I'm kind of a coffee and beer snob too.

11:59 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Noooo!!! They got Zoe! Time for an intervention!

12:21 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

I'm a very un-materialistic person. When I have to buy things I tend to buy that which will last and require the least maintenance and often that means I stick to the same brand. I've owned only Honda cars since 1986. I've used Apple computers since 1992. I've used Canon cameras since 1985.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Thanks for the heads up on Purina. We'll use it from now on.

I really don't have rabid brand loyalty to much of anything. I love Apple, though, because their products are so awesome and innovative and designed so well.

Diet Cherry Pepsi is the best soda ever.

Other than that, my sister gave me this Gucci purse that must of set her back about $300, that she never used. I used it for a couple of months, not hard at all, and the strap fell off and had to be repaired. So name brands do not always connote quality.

Mazda cars are great.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Where I lived in CA in the dark ages, there was a canning plant I passed a few times a week. The clever minds within had discovered the similarity of the plant's water tank to a veggie can, and thus, whenever they were canning for a certain brand, the can reflected it. DelMonte one week, Contadina the next, Hunt's the next, etc. So much for brand loyalty in America, although I swear certain products are better. My critters only eat Purina as well, but my garage used to house a variety of bikes, including a '68 Harley with the "Gearhear" treatment applied, minus adding a new nameplate:)

2:10 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Mike, your stuff is endurable goods, not really consumables. You are more into investment.

Mo3, now try to keep the kids off brands and you'll do well.

Mike, I think you and Gearhead would get along if you ever met one another.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous walter richards said...

I'm pretty much loyal to Hanes for t-shirts/shorts ... mainly because they seem to hold up better than others I've tried, and are more "comfy".

I'm not brand loyal to soda ... but "era loyal". I like getting the "old time" sodas. Stewarts, Henry Weinhard, etc.

Purina for my dog, too. Mainly because changing to a different brand means smelly poo for him. And some brands have so much coloring, that they make him sick.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Rohit said...

I'm glad to hear Hellmann's/Best made your list of brands! I work with the Hellmann's marketing team and you might be interested in a campaign we recently launched on Yahoo Food. It is called "In Search of Real Food" and features a weekly video episode and lots of interactive content asking people to share what they think "real food" is. Each week we are going to feature a blog post from a reader talking about real food. It would be great to hear your thoughts on what real food means in Astoria.

7:58 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Ahhh, there you go and fuck it up. You are going all corporate marketing on me. I like your product, and I don't want to be marketed to or put in a demographic. I don't want to sell shit for you. Just make your mayo and I'll buy it. Don't waste your time selling it to me and trying to get me to sell it for you. I'll go back to making my own mayo.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Amaya said...

Ha! Your response to Rohit cracks me up! But it doesn't surprise me.
As for brand loyalty I am loyal when it comes to 'investment' type stuff like Mike. Hondas, Bose, etc. But as for dispensable stuff: I like Dove for their shower gels/deoderant. They're good for sensitive skin and they don't test on animals. Skippy Peanut Butter because they have a honey roasted kind that is really yummy. Organic Valley milk because it's creamy and tastes so fresh. Viva paper towels because they're so strong and absorbant. I could go on.
Guess I'm kind of particular. I find something that works and I stick to it.
But in my defense, I don't like being a walking-talking advertisement for something. I try to avoid wearing clothes with big labels showing. If they want me to advertise, they should be paying me. Not the other way around.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Amaya said...

I forgot to mention that I try to buy anything from Umpqua Dairy that I can find.
More for nostalgic reasons than anything. When I lived in Roseburg we used to get Umpqua Dairy everything.

2:01 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Right on, Amaya!

8:19 PM  

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