Irrational Brand Loyalty

As I eat my mid-morning snack (Jif on a spoon), I recall the first spring break that I visited my Dad in his new apartment and he had the gall to make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Peter Pan. I’ll admit I had no idea until I went back for seconds, but I’m not sure he’d ever seen a more appalled eleven year old. He confided that he grew up with Peter Pan but changed his ways for my, apparently choosy, Mom.

It was then that I realized my childhood was unofficially sponsored. Kellogg’s had a monopoly on my breakfasts, Esprit and LA Gear co-sponsored my back-to-school wardrobe, Disney sponsored my vacations, and Baskin Robbins sponsored my birthday cakes. Years later, although my Jif now has Omega 3s and my Krispies are no longer cocoa, not much has changed, except I can no longer blame Mom for my brand loyalty.

I’m sure much of it is pure nostalgia, but as I find myself getting more deeply set in my brand-specific ways, I wonder how much of this is true brand preference and how much of it is, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” These days, my “loyalties” are just as strong as they are unreasonable. I’ll go out of my way to fly Southwest Airlines even if coworkers fly United, I still choose Baskin Robbins exclusively over DQ even though I really only order one of their thirty-one flavors, and I only stay at Hyatt hotels even though Marriott beds are akin to sleeping on a cloud in heaven laced with rainbows.

With all the loyalty clubs, coupons, toys-at-the-bottom-of-the-box and “Welcome back to the Hyatt Miss Tourek here’s your Regency Club Lounge key,” it’s hard not to choose sides. And once you’ve picked your poison, it can take a freight train to pull you in another direction – especially if you still get wistful when thinking of your mother’s killer PB&Js.

Now that I’m all grown up and have collected my own assortment of irrational brand loyalties, I look forward to passing my Disney-loving, Hyatt-staying, Jif-eating neuroses onto the next generation. To which brands will you be forever loyal for no good reason?

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About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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8 Responses to Irrational Brand Loyalty

  1. Sunshine says:

    I couldn’t eat peanut butter as a child, but I forever will love Smuckers orange marmalade on my toast. Kellogs pretty much ruled my childhood too, but as a child I have found I don’t like cereal anymore but as when I was a child, quaker (oatmeal or grits) are the way to go lol I’ll buy Johnson and Johnson products over anyone else any day. And the Clorox name will always mean dead germs to me, sorry Lysol.

  2. paywindow7 says:

    Long time favorites:
    Let’s see, where to begin.
    Crest tooth paste(don’t know why), Snickers candy bars( combinstion of flavors gets a 10 on the international rating scale)., Jack Daniels black. A “Me too” on Southwest Airlines, especially in the early days when Herb Kellerher might be on board on a Friday afternoon to launch happy hour in midair. Add another “me too” for Jif. Also Levis’ jeans. Then there has to be Hertz car rental. I’ve used all of them at one time or another I guess and yeah Hertz was more expensive but much more customer friendly and dependable. Irish Spring soap (why am I doing hygene products???) Ford pick ups. Not Hyatt but Sheraton for me and another name now I think.
    Wait I’ve done this wrong, my list sounds like I’m selling stock.

  3. notquiteold says:

    It’s not just preference. Jif IS better than Peter Pan (and much better than Skippy). My dad said so when I was little, and he was, of course, right.

  4. Mrs. Beadel says:

    Essie nail polish over OPI or crappy, no-name brands! Nothing like the Sharpie marker aroma and Crayolas over mock brands!

    I’ll definitely favor Disney over anything in the universe including breathing clean air, and don’t touch my Claymation Christmas movies! (I know they aren’t a “brand”, but when compared to any other genre of films, they are to me!) I’ll “make it my way” anytime at Burger King and order Pizza Hut every time.

    Coca-Cola over Pepsi, Always over Stayfree (TMI?) Kit-Kat over the world. Starbucks over anything, and let’s not forget (if we’re in the 80’s) Lisa Frank all over!

    P.S.- Super ironic that I was reviewing the genres of media with my class and mentioned the Jif slogan as part of persuasive techniques… “Choosy moms choose Jif” on Monday, the 26th!

  5. XoxoErica says:

    I’m such a brand snob! Don’t judge me.

    Bottled Water: Aquafina
    Cheese: Kraft
    Icecream: Coldstone
    Soap: Dove
    Deodarant: Secret
    Pizza: Papa Johns
    TVs: Samsung
    Computers: Apple
    Grocery Store: Publix

    Shall I continue….?

  6. bonkasaurus says:

    I never thought about it but i definitely stick to the same brands my parents raised me on.

  7. sarahnsh says:

    It’s so interesting how brands really do either keep our loyalty or we won’t move away from them to try something new. I personally like the things I like and though I try not to be brand focused… I definitely am.

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