Thursday, March 17

Default Brands

My friend Audrey Binkowski introduced me to this concept of "default" brands. Brands you are loyal to by default. You may not know why, it's almost just a matter of convenience.

For many, Starbucks is a default brand. They stop in every single morning, out of routine, and grab the usual. By default. Is it the best they could get, the most convenient, the most value -- maybe not. It's just the usual.

We probably all have certain default brands. Brands we just automatically choose. Toothpaste, laundry detergent, breakfast cereal. Is this good?

Yes and no. On the one hand, it smacks of brand loyalty. Something had to have happened to spark the continued usage. Somewhere along the line there was trial, satisfaction, and repeat.

But that's not enough for me -- it sounds lazy and disengaged. Not good, not bad, not bad enough to switch. It's opening up a competitive opportunity. As soon as something better does come along, guess what? Gone is the default brand.

I'd rather be an engaged brand. One that is changing dynamically all the time. One that infiltrates my consumer's life and grows with her. Changes with her. Becomes one with her. One that is not a default, but a daily choice. A conscious decision to choose because it is the best. Continually the best. Now that's brand loyalty that could never be challenged.

For me personally, that's my Paul Smith shirts. Love them. They are not default, but a conscious choice every season and every day. I'm fully engaged and they have become a part of my own personal brand. Nothing habitual about it at all. Very conscious actually.

Now it is true that one man's default brand may be another man's engaged brand, and that's ok. It's called targeting and personal choice!

What are your brands -- what's your experience? Jim.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I could probably open a Sephora franchise in my house because I try so many different beauty brands for skin and hair. However, there are a few cosmetic brands that I use consistently like Aveeno eye serum, ROC and NARS blush. The reason I stick with them is because I've tried others and they work the best.

    The one brand I am truly loyal to is Pearl Izumi cycling clothing. I ride a lot and I have found that Pearl Izumi offers the best comfort and performance for long rides during all seasons and they are stylish for this category. The technology also evolves and improves from year to year. Cycling apparel is not cheap so when I buy something I want it to last and perform well. I've found that with this brand.