Looking around my living room, a brand that sticks out in my mind is my 65” Samsung SmartTV. My husband and I had been looking for the right Smart TV to replace our old 47” Vizio 1080p tv. I began interacting with the Samsung brand through work, as Verizon had a co-branding partnership with Samsung. Because of this, I used only Samsung tablets, cellphones and TVs on the job. Normally, I am brand loyal to Apple for everything and I wouldn’t go about buying Samsung for personal use (and not just because I was provided all the tech free through work!) On the job, I relied on the Samsung products to perform “under pressure” — in hot, cold or rainy environments for very long hours, and I would need it to have crystal clear picture to avoid any comments that could lead a consumer to think for any reason that Verizon Fios had less than perfect picture or speed quality. However, I have used several other brands leading up to this partnership enough to know that the disadvantages of going with a lesser brand is not worth the headache. There is nothing more stressful about having a client show up on site and having a TV not work for no apparent reason! Even though I would be using their products at home without any pressure for the devices to perform, I would still want a product that operates quickly, efficiently, and beautifully. The remote is sleek and has a voice control option- once you have access to that feature, it’s very hard to turn back. A few months after having the Samsung SmartTV in our living room, we purchased a Toshiba Amazon Fire TV for my art studio/office space. In comparison, the sound quality is muffled, the picture isn’t as sharp, and the remote features are clunky. It’s a slow TV overall, and not great quality, but it was a budget item that won’t get much use so we kept it anyway.
Overall, I’d consider myself someone who uses brands not only for utility, but also for quality. I don’t mind spending 20% more (or even more) on something that I know is going to have better longevity, and is going to save me the headache of replacing it prematurely or worrying about poor performance. In fact, the laptop I’m typing on is an 8 year old MacBook pro, whereas my husband has gone through 3 cheaper PC laptops in the same amount of time that I’ve had mine. There are certain brands in my life that I consider my trusty workhorses — my 2007 Toyota that’s never broken down, my refurbished 2013 MacBook Pro, the iPhone 6 I had for 5 years until just recently, even my late 1800s Philadelphia “Workingmen’s Home.”
Alternately, I’ll have to admit that the one category I absolutely will not spend money on is clothing. The reason why I don’t spend money on clothes is because my experience is that there is never a clear difference in quality that’s worth putting out the extra cash. I frequent thrift shops on a monthly basis, and I browse my PoshMark app waiting for clothing I’ve liked to go on sale. I won’t hesitate to buy generic clothing brands through Amazon or eBay, either. My son’s entire wardrobe is secondhand, and no one would ever know! (He looks cute in anything of course!) Other than shoes and outerwear, my experience has been that the off-brand or private label is perfectly fine.
What is your brand behavior? Do you find yourself brand loyal in one category, yet break all your rules in another?