Brand Behavior: Samsung and Thrift Shops

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?

New Fairfield Thrift Shop
My Favorite Thrift Shop of ALL TIME

3 Philly Artists Who Rock Instagram

There are many social media outlets through which artists can showcase their work, but it is mind boggling for many to pick and choose which to use and which to forego. For instance, I keep bugging my amazingly talented graphic designer sister, Julie Rado, to get on Instagram. “I don’t want to have another reason to have my nose buried in my phone!” she said. Point taken. No one wants to be “that guy” who is so engulfed in posting, pinning, poking and tweeting that we lose touch with reality. However, social media is a powerful tool for artists that can help develop and show off your own personal style, as well as keeping abreast of what others in your field are doing.

Philly is home to a great number of artists, and many of them use social media to get their work out there. There are a few Philly artist Instagrammers who not only use the program exceptionally well, but are also trendsetters and totally ahead of the game. Here are 3 of my favorite Philly art peeps to follow (all profile descriptions are directly from their pages):

@StreetsDept : Conrad Benner

Born and raised in Fishtown, Philadelphia. Photojournalist. Lover of street art, graffiti, and urban exploration. http://streetsdept.com

All you have to do is look at the number of followers that StreetsDept has on Instagram (a quaint 93 thousand) to realize one thing: This guy KNOWS street art. You’ll also notice that Benner makes it a point to interact with his followers who comment, which has to be a challenge given his number of followers; he is genuinely interested in what you have to say and you will be noticed. I’ve picked up a few other important cues from Mr. Benner that I feel help me stay current as an artist, Instagrammer, and lover of all things Philadelphia. First off, he uses VSCO Cam with his pictures. According to Ellis Hamberger, “Instagram set[s] out to make your mobile photos look good, VSCO hopes to make them look real.” It’s the photographer’s photo app, so if you’re a film enthusiast, check out the VSCOCam app.

Another really cool thing that sets StreetsDept above the pack is that he often takes over the feed of Visit Philly as a “guest Instagrammer” (see below). This is a fascinating and lucrative career for an artist—if you have thousands of followers, that is!

@adam_wallacavage : Adam Wallacavage 

Photographer, Chandelier maker, Militant Ornamentalist. For chandelier inquiries, contact JonathanLeVineGallery.com or awallacavage@gmail http://WWW.ADAMWALLACAVAGE.COM

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It looks weird in here but sounds normal.

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Adam’s original inspiration for creating these Octopus chandeliers was from the octopus on Wednesday’s bed (Addams Family comic books). He is also a photographer, which explains the amazing photo editing skills documenting his work, unbelievable travel adventures/parties, and his love of the Philly skateboarding scene. Not to mention all of the super creepy and fascinating details of his house, which I really have to see in person someday. Adam has totally mastered the video capability of Instagram, which not many people can say. Notice the underuse of hashtags and tagging other people, which is refreshing- but when you already have 48 thousand followers, using these sparingly is A-OK. Scrolling through his comments you can see how many people are interested in buying one of his chandeliers–he wisely provides that information right in his profile description.

Adam is a great example of a Philly artist who has mastered the art of documenting his work on Instagram.

@getupart : Get Up Art 

Owner/curator of @getitgallery For shirts and other clothing visit http://www.getup.us Email/booking: getupart@gmail.com http://www.facebook.com/getupgetup

There are a ton of street artists in Philly, but not all of them capitalize on their catchy spray-painted or wheat-pasted art. Get Up Art does just that, and he does it in a creative way. He first takes a spin on Philadelphia icons (Ben Franklin with a boombox, the Phillie Phanatic spray painting a wall) and creates a really cool multi-layer stencil:

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Thanks to @tmoms for letting me paint

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and makes them into stuff you can buy, which is even cooler- and posts it on Instagram, referring you back to his storefront where you can purchase it.

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Soon

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Street art has a history of being controversial, as it can be considered illegal and under the same umbrella as graffiti, vandalism, and defacing property. That’s why it’s so interesting and ballsy to see it being sold, as sometimes the artists prefer to stay anonymous. Well-known street artists like Shepard Fairey do have merchandise for fans, although that is sometimes controversial too…but if that jawn wasn’t making people mad, it wouldn’t be any fun, now would it?