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Why are you brand loyal?

Something happened recently that I hadn’t considered might happen this year – I started playing my girlfriend’s Xbox One. Until now I’ve been a loyal PlayStation gamer, at least for this generation anyway, and as I don’t play half as much as I did when I was younger I hadn’t really foreseen the need to switch allegiance any time soon (I have a Nintendo Switch too but everyone knows it’s a secondary console).

Now, I expect at least half of you reading this don’t game so I’ve not picked the most relatable example but you’ll know people that do and you’ll know gamers generally sit in one camp or the other, unless they’re a PC gamer – and I’m not that hardcore. But the key brand oppositions in everyday life are there and I bet you have a preference in most cases: Costa vs. Caffe Nero, Samsung vs. Apple, Tesco vs. Aldi, Man United vs. Liverpool – for reference I’m Nero, Samsung, Aldi, United.

The key to loyalty is always a good experience led by a good product or good service. What good looks like to each individual will vary depending on their demands but, as consumers, I wonder how often we review where our loyalty lies?

The loyalty I’ve personally placed in brands is often down to reliability, quality and ease of access; until now I hadn’t considered I might be missing out by staying too loyal. I’ve had Samsung phones for as long as I can remember, and I probably won’t change because I don’t care much for a slightly better camera or marginally different phone features that other manufacturers might offer. I’m not sure why I prefer Nero – I suspect it’s a brand thing and I just prefer the feel of their shops but, if there wasn’t a Nero around, I’d still buy from Costa. I’m an Aldi guy because I’m tight; and I’ll always be loyal to United, just because.

But am I exclusively loyal to PlayStation? I don’t think so. I came across a service that Xbox offer – the “Game Pass”, which is essentially Netflix for games – and it was on offer, so I thought I’d give it a go. And I have to say, I like it. As someone who likes variety but doesn’t want to buy a lot of games it is a great service because it has a good amount of newer top chart titles, as well as a load of weird and random games I’d never buy. Will I renew my subscription after the offer period? Maybe. Does PlayStation offer a similar service? Turns out they do, but I’d never have known because they’ve never offered it to me at a price I’d take note of and having now looked into it, it doesn’t look like half as good a service.

This is a bloody long winded way of trying to make my point but in short, don’t be afraid to check out an alternative brand, business or supplier – you might have been missing something that you’d value and you might not need to switch allegiances totally, you can have the best of both worlds.

The decision-making process when comparing alternative providers or suppliers:
N.B.  Let’s not forget, there are certain industries where human involvement is often part of the process – used car sales, buying a house, insurance, recruitment services…so naturally there’ll be some human interaction, and this can be the clinch point for a sale. I don’t think I’ll ever stop believing that people buy from people, and more so people they like. This can certainly skew the decision-making process when comparing alternative providers or suppliers.

So, if you’re working with someone you like, and their offering is competitive you’re in a great place – if one of those two factors aren’t there then maybe you should be considering some alternatives.

- Sam

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Sam Chambers

Sam Chambers

Senior HR Consultant

0115 870 0300