During these 2008 NFL playoffs, I started to think about how my deep and undying passion for the New York Giants began. My family wasnt a big football family. My high school team wasnt that great. My father was more of a college basketball kinda guy. I realized that its like most product branding: it just is. Its a choice I made a long time ago that will stay with me for life. Yes I’m from NY, but that’s basically where the influence for this decision ended. But its a powerful one.
You choose a product/team and its something that stays with you, and for most of us, will never change. Through ups and downs, trials and tribulations, we’ll stick with what we’ve known. Changing is not an option. This also bleeds over for many of us into product choices, such as pain relievers, bath products or home cleansers.
The thing about product and brand loyalty is that sometimes, there may not be a reason. Many consumers go through the motions of picking up what they are out of at home robotically. Some families may expect that their children will go to a certain college because thats what the family does. There are many reasons that are undeterred by current slander in the news, be it salary questions or child labor insinuations.
For me, I’ll always be a NYG fan and that will never change. I’ll always wear Nike’s. But, there are areas where I waver and experiment, especially as I grow older. How will you as a marketer influence these decisions for people like me?
Photo Courtesy of Benswing via Flickr.
One thought on “Branding and Product Loyalty: Looking At Your NFL Preferences”
Good points. There’s a reason marketers — with the field now expanded into the Internet — want to reach people when they’re young. That’s when you can form the best brand loyalty. When I was a kid, I latched onto the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners — geographically inconvenient though they are — because they were fairly new teams and had cool-looking uniforms. And I’ve always rooted for underdogs … a tendency that brings plenty of heartache, but true satisfaction when the Seahawks reached the Super Bowl™, or the Mariners won a record 116 games in 2001 or had their miracle Refuse to Lose stretch run to their first playoffs in 1995.
I wonder if there’s an equivalent to bandwagon fans in the regular marketing world. You know, all the people who suddenly decide they are Yankees or Patriots (or Giants!) fans when the teams win something? Sure, we all want to feel like winners. Maybe some people can establish a winning brand feeling that makes people want to identify with them. But these are the most fickle fans, who will part ways when the next shiny object comes along. And similarly, I don’t think bandwagon fans will ever feel the authentic jubilation of the big wins that those of us loyal long-suffering fans experience.
BTW, totally New Balance over Nike. More parts made in the USA, they last longer and much more comfortable.