So I had a discussion with some friends about this and it loosely tied into branding and loyalty. What makes people adopt a brand? What drives that person to resonate with a brand to part with their hard earned cash? Could it simple boil down to being a sheep and herded by the masses or is it something more granular and sinister.
When it comes down to branding I have some I like and some I dislike and those both come with their reasoning, I’ll give an example of a brand that I’m neither here nor there on. Facebook, now of course facebook is a software platform but it has an established branding. The usage of facebook would be the same regardless of it’s branding, it could be orange and black but I’d still use it for it’s particular reason. It just so happens that marketeers have researched the most aesthetically pleasing colours and Blue is number one.
In the retail sector, branding is possibly the most important thing next to of course the quality of products. A good example of this is primark, everyone in the UK knows what they’re getting when they walk into a primark. It’s cheap, cheerful and mental. Primark have found their niche in the market and work on popularity and event driven sales more than most. If it’s summer then most of the people I know head for their cheap tops and shorts rather than the more expensive high street alternatives. So this is a clear indication of pricing loyalty over quality or longevity.
On the flip side you then have the brands that push the quality and experience of their clothing. Of course I’m talking about shopping in the dark at Hollister or Abercrombie and Fitch. Now I’m not the biggest fan of these companies and I’ve never understood why you need to shop in the dark and have a half naked ripped to shit greeter saying ‘welcome to the pier’ or whatever they say. These brands are clearly aimed at the teenage audience and try to convey a particular lifestyle. The issue I find is nothing fits my body type, I end up looking like a squashed pineapple or a picnic table cover!
Sports brands had a surge in the 90’s such as Gola and Kappa are now struggling in the current climate. The reasons behind this are the quality of goods and lack of celebrity representation. These brands rely on popularity and this variable is governed by the quality and mainstream usage. I’m sure if you looked at Nike, Adidas and especially Puma all of these brands have gone through a transformation. Puma for example were lucky enough to bounce of the back of Usain Bolt and the Jamaican sprinting team.
Before this entrance to the limelight Puma were heading in the same direction as Gola and Kappa.Adidas and Nike both attached themselves to well known Sports stars and now both are the market leaders. It’s hard to imagine Ronaldo in a Kappa popper tracksuit right?
So does this mean people only use companies that have stars or have a solid foundation? No, in the past few years companies have found the tax man come walking. I’ll look at Starbucks, the biggest coffee company in the world. Normally you can’t walk five minutes in a metropolis without seeing their brand. However they came under scrutiny for evading tax. Did they see a drop in profits, yes. However it was an insignificant fall in the long run and now people have forgotten and enjoy it’s ease for a cup of coffee. The same with Google who technically have found a loophole in the system. Will people use Bing, no chance. Why not? The brand power and function have already been set and established.
This is a very small digest on a very big topic but in summary, people tend to have their own reasons for brands, it’s simple the marketeers who find ways change their brand’s appearance. Sometime however it’s simply based on quality and costing, especially in today’s markets where money is tight for a lot of families.