Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oral Fixation with Brand Loyalty

Do you know why you are loyal to certain brands? Maybe it is because of the impact a particular company has on the world. Maybe it is because the quality of the product is consistently superior. Maybe it is because your family has purchased the brand for years and you are carrying on the tradition. Maybe you don't even know. Maybe something needs to change in the environment to test your overall loyalty.

Colgate toothpaste rocks. I have bought it for years and years. The Colgate company can count on me buying their brand at least tens times a year. Nothing can stop me...or can I be stopped?

Yes I can. I walked up to the aisle at Target, spotted the Colgate
and noticed something very wrong with the situation.

Was it the price? Nope.
Was it a new toothpaste that caught my eye? Nope.
Was it the picture of Jeff Gordon on the package? Nope.

It was the fact that there was not a free toothbrush included in the packaging. You see, I would buy Colgate every time (regardless of price) because the package of toothpaste always included a free toothbrush. That is how I gauged when to change my toothbrush at home. Out with the old, in with the new. Damn them for messing with my oral hygiene.

They f*ed with their differentiator. Toothpaste became a commodity again. I shopped by price and presumed quality. I did not even consider Colgate that time because they betrayed me. I was betrayed by the brand. My loyalty wavered.

The funny thing is that I will return to Colgate if they give me a free toothbrush again. They can even increase the price to account for the toothbrush. Two key byproducts of brand loyalty: 1) increased commitment, and 2) increased willingness to invest.

Bring me back, Colgate. I am waiting...

To what brands are you loyal? Why?


  1. i had been using a particular crest variation for a while, but couldn't find it the other day at target. so, i picked a similar one, which sucked. now i've got to suffer through this tube because at some time i decided i liked crest.

    before that it was mentadent.

    overall, i think i'm sorta brand loyal to coke.

    i'm really brand loyal to adidas, to the point where i'd even call myself a brand whore.

  2. When Dove started their "every woman" advertisement campaign, they really hooked me in. Now, when I have to choose between deodorants, I choose Dove because I like to think I am supporting their values of representing every different kind of woman and not just the fashion model-type in their advertisements. Their passions suddenly aligned with mine more than the other brands on the shelf.

  3. @edluv...brand whore, huh? I've been there before. What is it about Adidas (which I spell out based on the 8th grade mnemonic All Day I Dream About Sex...very mature) that makes you whore yourself out for the brand?

  4. basically, i fell in love with the classic style. and, through the years i've liked the way they have managed to bring in top fashion designers and really work to do fashion forward shoes and clothes.

    couple that with a distaste for the nike style and world presence (sweatshops anyone?) in the mid to late 90's and i just sort of bought in to adidas. rich history, great looks, innovation.

    now, i realize that pretty much every shoe company (and multinational) isn't the most friendly world citizen, so i'm not naive to the fact that adidas operates under many of the same conditions and business models as nike, so that luster is rubbed off, but i still love the style & history.

    so how did i really become a brand whore? well, since i coach, i tend to wear a fair amount of athletic gear. if i'm buying it, it's going to go together, so it'll end up being the same brand, which is adidas. so often i'm decked out in it. if i'm looking for shoes, they're adidas whether it's high fashion, throwing shoes, casual or workout. and even outside of that i think i only have 1 pair of dr. martens, two pairs of dress shoes, and that's about it for non adidas shoes (and i think i've got around 15 pairs of shoes in my closet right now + 3 pairs of adidas flip flops/sandals). and so i achieve brand whore status.

    "it's adidas on my feet high top or low"

  5. Wow...very whoreish...

    I will have to pay closer attention next time I see you.

    On another note, I saw a cool documentary on the brothers who started Adidas...they split and one started Puma (or maybe it was the other way around). It was a cool piece none the less.