Passion Plays: Brand Loyalty

Widdershinsmask Among the ButtercupsNEWS: Is Pluto a binary planet? Depends on who you talk to. We now know Pluto has a whole bunch of moons, Nix, Hydra Cerberus and Vulcan. (and maybe even more, as well as a couple’a ring systems) And then there’s Charon. First observed in 1978. Charon doesn’t orbit around Pluto. They orbit around each other! In my book that makes them/it a binary planet.

It must be noted that the IAU (International Astronomical Union) didn’t approve of Charon’s upstart ambitions and dumbed it down to just another of Pluto’s moons. This is the same IAU who, in 2006 decided Pluto was just another lump of rock in the Kuiper Belt and downgraded it from Sol’s 9th planet to a dwarf planet.

Charon the ‘moon’, is not to be confused with Chiron, the minor planet/asteroid orbiting between Saturn and Uranus, first observed in 1977 and subsequently reclassified as a comet – but also officially called a minor planet.

Still with me?

Thankfully, all those chunks of rock, and other awesome sounding cosmic stuff, don’t give a tinkers cuss what the hominidae on the third chunk of rock from the sun think.

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On to the object of today’s P.P.

For more about P.P.’s, here’s the link to the inaugural Passion Plays post

I used to be loyal to all sorts of things because that’s the way I was brought up. Working class Brits both my parents. You made do with what you had, didn’t make waves, and did as you were told, which usually entailed doing and using things the way your parents had, and their parents before them.

That blind loyalty only lasted until I was old enough to make my own decisions about Life, the Universe, and Everything.

The other day I did one of those on-line surveys. It was about some product, I can’t remember what, but what stuck in my mind was the way the questions were worded.

To paraphrase just one of them: Would you be willing to pay more for a brand product, rather than a generic or store brand? The rest of the questions were variations on the same theme … the short answer is, no.

Longer answer: Hell, no!

If a brand is going to charge more just so someone can swan around with it’s logo prominently displayed on whatever they just bought, or pretend to feel superior to others who haven’t brought that brand then it’s time to look for an alternative. Lets face it, not one product in our overstuffed consumer society is truly unique.

There are always alternatives.

P.S. Style, personal preference, and belonging, however, are completely different kittens in completely different kettles.

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“All stories interest me, and some haunt me until I end up writing them. Certain themes keep coming up: justice, loyalty, violence, death, political and social issues, freedom”Isabel Allende, writer

 

A little Dame Kiri perfection on this almost Spring day. (sorry about the wide screen distortion. I couldn’t find another clip without it)

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8 comments on “Passion Plays: Brand Loyalty

  1. suelange says:

    Good for you, Widdershins. Of course, leaving a product “generic” is like not putting your name on something. Anonymity can hide deficiency. I remember generic tuna fish. It was awful. I may hate big names but Chicken of the Sea was clearly better.

    And as a writer you will be getting instructions about branding yourself shoved down your throat. Hopefully you can maintain your integrity, but when you see crappy authors getting a bigger and bigger name because they know how to work it, you may start to think about getting your brand out there.

    Hang on as long as you can!

    • Widdershins says:

      Branding is certainly a way of initially getting peoples attention, that’s for sure … but once our attention is hooked, I think the difference is whether we buy a product because of the brand name attached to it, or because we want/need the product itself.

      It’s a fact of this author-ly life that here will always be, “crappy authors getting a bigger and bigger name because they know how to work it”. They don’t bother me, because I know how to work the system too. Every author who wants to make any kind of living in this business has to, and it doesn’t matter if they’re with a house of self-published – that ground is pretty much level in today’s world.

      But I don’t want anyone buying my work because they want to be part of the ‘Widdershins Experience’, (hm-m, great phrase, must remember it!) I’ll take their money, because a sale is a sale, but I want someone to read what I write because it’s a damn good story.

  2. Kalaya says:

    I agree with Widdershins.

    Blind or Brand loyalty is allowing others to make your decisions. The reality is that when we make our decisions on what we do or buy because our parents did or because we’ve always have, we base our decisions on the past. Not in the present. buying a product may be a minor decision but how we make it reveals how we are apt to make the rest of our decisions.
    Are we swung by our needs and what the other guy has and does or do we take a moment to consider whether the quality of the product is better before we buy it.
    We have to take responsibility for our decisions whether someone else makes it for us or we make that decision ourselves.
    When we reach the stage of life that we are suppose to take responsibility for our decisions than we need to learn what is important to us as individuals and not cave in to the peer pressure (now called advertising) to belong or by buying a particular product and that is a rite of passage.

    In response to suelange, Generic and no name brands are made by the big name companies. They’re just selling off their surplus and chances are you may be getting their low end. That’s why the products may vary each time you buy them.

    • Widdershins says:

      For me, the message was about taking the time to discern if I actually need/want the product on offer, and make a purchase decision based on that, not externally applied pressure.

      … thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  3. jannatwrites says:

    I don’t like surveys because I feel the questions are too leading and often I don’t have a straight yes/no answer (there isn’t much in life that’s black and white.) To the question if I’d be willing to pay more for a brand name product, my answer would be ‘possibly’. If that product is better quality that store brands, yes. Just to have the brand name label, no. Some things, I actually prefer store brands, others I prefer name brands. But the vast majority of items, I can’t tell a difference one way or the other so I choose the one that will leave me more dollars in my wallet!

  4. londonmabel says:

    My only brand rule: Don’t buy generic root beer or ginger ale. The quality control isn’t as good so every once in awhile you get a drink that tastes like a root. It’s pretty gross. Unless you’re one of those crazy people who like pop called “spruce beer.” (Generic Coke etc are all good.)
    ;-)

    In the show Psych one of the character’s usual pick up line is: “You heard about Pluto right? That’s messed up.”

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