Brand Loyalty – Should we? Why?

If you happen to be a friend of mine on Facebook, you may have seen the banter back and forth between my brother and I arguing Samsung vs iPhone. Rather, he fights for Samsung, I simply state I like my iPhone since I switched into it.

Here’s a brief glimpse of our daily conversations (he posted a link about an iPhone burning):

Facebook Chat Discussing Samsung verse iPhone

This goes on a lot. I posted a link of Samsung burning people. ;) Before his Samsung (which he got a week ago) he was a huge HTC fan until he dropped it and smashed the screen. I remember him also stating his Kyocera was the best a few years past. I can pick on him because he’s my brother.

So this makes me think about brand loyalty… 

Rewind 20 years…

My same brother, late teens maybe early 20’s, gets his first car: blue Ford pickup truck (which he handed down to me and I totaled within a month). He loved that thing. He went to a Ford Taurus SHO, again, in love. My dad had Ford, we were a Ford family. I would argue with friends at the time (I was near 11/12 years old) that Ford was better (because dad said so).

Several years later, my brother jumps to Toyota. This was controversial, this was unheard of, he almost was excommunicated from the family. Now he drives a Dodge. <shuddering>. To this day, I prefer Ford (especially since their remake a few years ago), also I wouldn’t mind a Maserati.

Fast forward to about 6 years ago…

I’m a Microsoft man: Windows computer, Windows Phone, Microsoft EVERYTHING. I trashed talk my friends who got iPhones, Mac PCs, and anything else that wasn’t Microsoft. Brand loyal to the core… Then something changed, something sparked, oh, I remember, I dropped my Windows Phone into a puddle. I drove to Sprint immediately to get a new phone. All they had were Androids and the evil iPhone. I walked out with an Android and never regretted it, haven’t been back to Windows Phone since (though it’s tempting as of late).

This is where things changed for me. I had an epiphany

I loosened up my brand loyalty: verbally admitted Microsoft was terrible at creating phones. I shed a tear, and let go. By letting go this little bit, I became aware of so many other things I was holding onto that maybe I shouldn’t have. Chains were released, the burden lifted. I wasn’t afraid of the iPad anymore, I could actually enjoy a Mac, admiring my friend’s new cars though not Ford (I will still only buy a Ford) and so on.

Fast forward to about 2 months ago…

I caught myself doing it, desiring to stay and fight with a brand… We’ve been Verizon FIOS customers for years. I’m a huge fan of their service and TV offering. My wife and I decided to go cable free and use a Roku instead (awesome decision, I’ll blog on that once we’re on it for about 6 months, and yes, I know Apple TV exists). As part of the change, we went from Verizon to Comcast since Comcast had a 2 year deal at a great rate for internet only. I had a sour taste in my mouth moving to Comcast, I didn’t want to do it, but I forced myself to save some money and committed. It’s been great since. I keep myself in check though, I don’t let myself drink Comcast’s koolaide, they’re a corporation, a service, not a reason to fight.

Fast forward to Monday of this week…

chickenWe’ve been a member of JustAddCooking.com (if you sign up, use code CE8K for $20 off your first box), a food service that ships your food and recipes and all you do is cook. It’s a lot of fun and has allowed me to cook, a lot. I love it. They’re a local company, Boston based which makes them a little more special to me (Boston rocks!). Anyway, I had a conversation with a colleague about cooking and this service and he mentioned BlueApron.com… My gut wrenched as I wanted to tell him how much better JAC was, but instead I said, “oh yes, just like that, but Just Add Cooking provides 4 person meals, Blue Apron is only 2, right?”. How mature of me…

The only brands that get my loyalty now are those that continue to prove they are industry leaders and that benefit me (why would you be loyal to something that doesn’t benefit you?): iPhone, Windows 8, Ford, Coke, Five Guys, PayPal, Verizon (I’m a Sprint guy wanting Verizon) and I could go on. I bet you could argue with EVERY SINGLE one of those because

Opinions are like arm pits: everyone has them and they all stink.

Brand loyalty. It’s so odd. I do it, my brother does it, chances are you do it as well. There are some brands we’re loyal about and we have no idea why (milk, oil in the car, gas station). I’d guess we do this for a few reasons:

  1. I just spent a whole lotta money on this, it better be the best.
  2. I’m too proud to admit I didn’t get the best.
  3. This thing is good for me, it works really well and I want to share, tell the world, that it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
  4. I want to fight for something, it’s the human element to defend a cause, pour our energies into something, even if it’s a silly corporation (human rights and hunger would be a better cause).
  5. Sometimes it’s cool to be the odd guy out, to be loyal to the minority (how many of you still love Blackberry?)
  6. Again, it was a lot of money.

Sometimes we can be fickle, and loyalties can change as fast as technology does. I believe they should. That’s my goal, to keep moving and keeping up with what’s the best, now, not 3 months ago. Granted, in technology that can get really expensive, so maybe every 6-9 months. I guess that isn’t brand loyalty anymore is it? It’s doing what’s best for me, my family, within my budget and my expectation of satisfaction. Why should I keep with Windows Phone 6.5 for years when Androids are just that much better?

Think of how companies would have to react if more people did this, went to the latest and greatest regardless of the corporation. iPhone is great, for me, now. It isn’t always the greatest, it’ll be behind the times in a few months when HTC/Samsung/Nokia/Acme comes out with their latest and greatest (though iPhone has something none of them do, awesome APPS! oops there I go again). What if Apple couldn’t rely on brand loyalty, would they treat their customers differently? Their market is strong due to loyalty, and it continues to thrive. They get away with a lot due to loyalty…

Can we get around this, ever?

There are things in life worth being loyal to: not brands or companies, but human rights, your religion/beliefs, the hungry, poor, desolate, Earth, our authorities, the USA, and there’s more.

What I have decided to do is to share my opinions and preferences how I want, and I will not judge, criticize, fight, condemn, shame, prosecute, humiliate or destroy another human based on their opinions (unless you’re my brother). I believe we were made with passion and emotion, we were made to care, to pour our energy into something. If you decide to pour that into companies, services, gadgets, or vehicles, that’s your opinion and it’s your right, but it is yours and if I disagree, that’s cool. I may have a fun casual argument just to flex our intellectual muscles. ;)

And to my brother, your Samsung is a great phone, I don’t think I’ve ever denied that. It works for you, and meets your needs. I’ve decided to move from Android to iPhone because it works for me and my family. And on that day when you decide to move to another phone, I won’t remind you of this at all.

How to get the new Facebook Paper App

I’m fairly new to the iPhone, just switched about 2 weeks ago, then I heard about Facebook’s latest app Paper. Eager to try anything new on my iPhone, I search for Paper, er… maybe Facebook Paper… noo… hmm…

It appears Apple’s App Store Search is terrible, which surprises me Apple does anything sub par. I suppose I should get used to it.

One thing you can do to find it is to:

Search for Facebook

Facebook Paper

Press Facebook, then press Related on the right

Facebook Paper

Swipe right and you’ll find Paper

Facebook Paper

Blamo!

photo 4

Annoying? Yes. Not impossible though.

I’ve made the jump to the iPhone

Since smart phones came out, I was a huge Microsoft fan, and then that stalled when v6.5 was their latest and greatest, and I saw Android screaming past. So I jumped on the Android train about 4 or 5 years ago. Loved it, still do, great phone, huge improvements every release. Never looked back. The new Windows Phones look nice, but there’s still a bad taste in my mouth from them never keeping up with it like they should have.

My latest Android, the HTC One on Sprint, rocks. Best phone I’ve ever had, bar none. Camera is beautiful, audio is solid, it’s stinkin fast too. However, nothing is perfect. I had a couple of issues with it so it went out to get fixed. In the mean time I swapped into my wife’s old iPhone 4s…

All of a sudden, I’m in this new strange world that I can’t explain, but something just feels right. So I decided when my phone came back from service, to sit on the iPhone for a month, and live life. I’m 5 days into it now, and I must say so far so good.

I’ve been tweeting my finds, which you can view here. I’ll compile a list at the end of the month, and let you know if I’ll be selling the HTC One or the iPhone 4s.

 

Happy Birthday Hunny! #April14th

My wife turns 30 today! She’s no longer a 20-something. You’ll always be younger than me.

I’m so grateful for such an amazing wife. I’ve posted several posts over the last 2 weeks about what she means to me, and how important she is to me. I can’t seem to ever find the right words to properly define it. She’s just awesome.

Her compassion is tangible, and helps me keep my focus on what’s really important in life. I may laugh when she cries at commercials and movies, but that is usually to hold back my emotion. I’ve known her for 18 years, I guess her compassion has rubbed off a little. I’m grateful.

One day, when we were first married, I showed her photo to a customer of mine. He immediately said, “you married way out of your league”. To which I agreed immediately, and continue to to this day.

She is such an amazing person, never mind an awesome mom and wife, but she alone is awesome.

Happy birthday hunny! I look forward to growing real old with you!

Music Gets Me #April14th

Every once in a while, a great song comes out and sings what I’m feeling….

Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it aint hard to tell
You don’t know
Oh Oh
You don’t know you’re beautiful

If only you saw what I can see
You’ll understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe
You don’t know
Oh oh
You don’t know you’re beautiful
Oh oh
That what makes you beautiful

They don’t know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I’ll wait for you I promise you, I will

I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again

Lucky we’re in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

When I see your face
There’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cause you’re amazing
Just the way you are

And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
‘Cause girl, you’re amazing
Just the way you are

A Real Mom #April14th

The Neighbors

Debbie Weaver – The Neighbors

Claire Dunphy

Claire Dunphy – Modern Family

Amy Duncacn

Amy Duncan – Good Luck Charlie

These few TV moms remind me of my wife so much. Sure, they’re scripted to be funny and witty, but their tiny streak of crazy is what reminds me of my wife. No, my wife isn’t crazy. Let me explain: I’m a firm believer that the mom holds the house and family together. Dealing with kids, husbands, house, and pets: it’s enough to drive me crazy! She holds things together so well, and she may exert a little crazy here or there. I expect it and would be concerned if it was any other way.

daddy and i agree

Daddy and I agree, Mommy is the Boss

 

My Advisor #April14th

Behind every great man there’s a great woman

I consider myself great because of the great woman next to me.

My Children #April14th

With very little effort on my part, my wife made these three beautiful children who I can’t live without. As crazy as they are, and energetic, and always moving, I am so thankful for them.

IMG_8455

Being a parent teaches you so much: selflessness, responsibility, timing, pride, humility, love, and so much more. My wife nails this parenting thing in the head, sometimes dragging me along…

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Having children with you was one the best choices of my life. Thank you for being an awesome mom!

IMG_0907

Crazies #April14th

Her heart is so big, and so open, that she attract people just by walking into a room. Not people she knows, oh no, rather, the crazies.

We were on the MBTA heading into Boston one day, when this woman walks right up to her, and immediately starts showing her photos of her day at Fenway. They chatted back and forth like old friends, with this woman offering her photos of Wally. I sat there, watching, laughing, and video taping. Unfortunately, I don’t have the video to share…

Paired close to the crazies are old ladies. I think Calvin helps with this one. Countless times walking up and down the grocery store, old ladies attack her and Calvin, just wanting to pinch those cheeks. He is a cute kid, but seriously, every time one of those blue heads walk by…

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And she handles it so well, it’s funny, and why I love her even more. She has such compassion for everyone, but more on that later!

I liked it so I put a ring on it #April14th

I loved ‘it’ so much I put a ring on it.

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