Pepsi or Coke? McDonalds or Burger King? Millions of dollars are spent each year in an attempt to keep us consuming. Marketing campaigns, giveaways and contests, all designed to help us dispose of our disposable income. With each product claiming to be the best, how do you choose?
Personally, I am a very loyal consumer. I’m less likely to change products than your average folks because I know what I like and I’m a creature of habit. That isn’t to say a good piece of marketing couldn’t sway me in a different direction, but it’s a rare occasion. A marketing professor of mine once told me “It’s ok to let marketing change your mind, as long as you know it’s happening”.
But, as loyal of a customer as I am, I am equally committed when it comes to my hatred of other brands. A prime example of that is Old Navy. I’ve shopped at Old Navy since I was in Middle School. Cheap jeans, t-shirts and “board shorts” are the standards at Old Navy. I tend not to be overly price conscious, but seeing jeans for $10 always made me excited. A few years back, I received an email from Old Navy with a 50% off coupon included. “50% OFF! I’ll get my cheap jeans ever cheaper!”. I printed it out and drove over to Victor to reap the giant discount.
After looking for 20 minutes, I finally found a few things I liked. The older I get, the tougher it is for me to find clothes that don’t feel too “hip” for me. Although I went in for only one item, I now had 2 pairs of jeans, several t-shirts and a polo or two. The allure of 50% off of one item had enticed me to buy more. As I approached the cashier I could see she was texting and leaning on the counter. That’s one of my big pet peeves. When you’re at work…work! That was strike one.
As I set the items on the counter, the cashier begrudgingly put the phone down after a few seconds, rolled her eyes, then put on fake smile and said “Hello”. Strike two. She scanned in the items and I presented my exclusive email discount. “Oh I’m sorry this coupon is only valid on non-sale items.” With a line looming behind me, I got flustered and began looking around for another item to throw in. “What about this sweater?” I asked. “No, sale item” she replied. “Could you tell me what stuff isn’t on sale?”. The cashier looked up with a smile as if I had just told a joke. “It’s Old Navy, everything is on sale”. I smiled back and said “Of course”. I left the clothes on the counter and walked away. I have not been back into the store since.
The brands I’m most loyal to didn’t win me over with marketing tactics. They did it with quality of product, price points or a friend’s recommendation.