I was thinking about branding the other day. In marketing, there is huge reliance on branding and making customers loyal to a brand, so they will only buy your brand.
There are very few brands to which I am loyal. I think, in truth, it is because I am just not a very picky person. I'm just not. One thing is as good as the other, for the most part, as far as I'm concerned.
So let's get it out of the way. Which brands am I picky about, and by picky, I mean, I will go to another store to buy this brand if the store I am at currently is out or does not stock this brand:
1. Tampax tampons. I hate Playtex. I don't know why, I just do. I won't buy them. Tampax all the way. And I don't like the Walgreen's imitation of the Tampax, which uses the same colors and I accidentally bought once on accident because the box looked so similar. I actually sent an e-mail to Tampax alerting them to this possible trade dress infringement (at least I thought it was, since I accidentally bought the wrong product), and got a form e-mail back thanking me for buying their product. Thanks, but that wasn't what my e-mail was about. My e-mail was about not buying your product because I got confused and bought the Walgreen's product. Whatever. They've been warned.
2. Crest toothpaste. I've tried other brands, but I like Crest the best. I have no idea why, honestly. I always buy Crest.
3. Hefty trashbags. They are the best. I've tried the generics and other brands. My local CVS only stocks their brand of trashbags now, so I have to go to the Dominick's to buy Hefty. That's fine.
4. Reynold's aluminum foil. If you are used to Reynold's and you buy the generic, oh, you are in for a shock. It is not the same, and it is, in fact, terrible. Again, my local CVS only stocks their aluminum foil, which blows. I tried it once, and never again. I go to Dominick's for the Reynolds.
5. Tide laundry detergent. I've used it forever, and I just like it. They have my loyalty.
6. Miller Lite (vs. Bud Lite). I just like Miller Lite better. I would take a Bud Lite if there is no Miller Lite, if I am at a bar or something, but if I have a choice, it is always Miller. I would never buy Bud Lite to take home. I would go to another store to buy Miller, although, this has never been an issue. If they have Bud, they have Miller.
7. Diet Coke over Diet Pepsi, but Pepsi over Coke. I know this sounds odd, and I can't explain it. But frankly, either or is just fine with me most of the time, unless I'm actually buying the 12 pack. Because of trademark issues, restaurants and such have to say what they have. Like, if you order a Diet Coke and they only have Pepsi products, they say "Is Diet Pepsi okay?" And probably 99% of the time, the person says, yes, fine. But they do it because of trademark law! (Likelihood of confusion stuff.) At any rate, I will always buy Diet Coke over Diet Pepsi, but I will also buy Pepsi over Coke. It's odd, I admit. And again, has never been an issue.
8. Q-Tips. The generics do not compare.
9. My cigarettes. Will go to multiple places to get my brand, if necessary.
I think that's it. Like, I'll buy Puffs or Kleenex, depending on what is on sale. While I prefer Quilted Northern, I'll buy Angel Soft or Scotts or whatever if that is all they have in the size I want to buy. While I prefer Philly cream cheese, I'll buy whatever if they are out of the Philly garden vegetable. I'll buy generic cereal. I have no loyalty to milk brands. Nor to cheese. I regularly try all kinds of beauty products and shampoos, so no loyalty there. Toothbrushes? Oral-B, Crest, whatever. Pantyhose can go all over the board. Contact solution? Whatever is on sale. And on, and on and on. Nothing else to me is not replaceable by whatever is on the shelf or cheaper. Or if you are dealing with a person like me who just wants to try all kinds of things.
I'm really kind of amazed by people who are so loyal to their brand. Or are people so loyal? Hmmm....