Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What causes us to choose one brand over another? Or is it just me? When I go grocery shopping I have brands that I always get. We buy Coke, rather than Pepsi and Tide rather than Gain. I pick up the same brand of toothpaste whenever we run out. But I don't necessarily get the same kind of shampoo or soap. How come? I will try new products to wash my hair, but not my clothes. I tend to buy the same brand of dish soap, but not necessarily the same scent. I'll switch around on paper towels but stay loyal to tissue (I'm a Kleenex girl).

I know some people have huge brand loyalties to products. Cars, especially. I'm loyal to Honda (though I'd love to be able to afford something really ass-kicking) but will always prefer a Honda to, say, a Ford. And yet I know people who have happily owned four or five different makes of cars.

It's weird how that happens. Even if a similar and, I'm sure, just-as-good product is cheaper I'll still go for the preferred brand in most cases. And I'm not sure why. Especially now, when I'm trying to watch our budget. I'm sure the generic store-brand laundry detergent is fine, yet I'll shell out the extra buck for the name brand I've always used. There might even be something I'd like better, yet I don't experiment. And I rarely switch. I might pick up a different brand if they're out of what I usually buy, but the next time I go back to the old favorite.

So am I dull or loyal? Am I a typical consumer or am I weird. And I find it interesting that advertising has pretty much no effect on me. I don't see an ad on TV and think "I need to try that soup."

The one type of ad I do pay attention to, for the humor value, is bathroom cleaners. Why is it that the people who seem most excited by having a sparkling bathroom start off with bathrooms that look like the local Shell Station? Seriously. They always have the most disgusting bathtubs.

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