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Are You Unfailingly Loyal To Certain Brands?

Illustration for article titled Are You Unfailingly Loyal To Certain Brands?

For every person who refuses to drink anything but Starbucks coffee, there is someone who would never buy coffee there — or someone who insists on buying their coffee at the same independent chain no matter what.

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But does either ritual speak volumes about the person purchasing the cup?

In an article on Fabulously Broke, the author takes a closer look at brand loyalty to seek a larger truth:

Tim Hortons' drinkers seem to be characterized as being very loyal to Canada, working class folk who just want a normal cup of coffee.

Starbucks drinkers seem to be characterized as too-rich yuppies who wear power suits, are always on their smartphones and have too much money to burn to pay for such overpriced, gourmet coffee.

Neither stereotype is flattering, but it made me wonder why people may have such perceptions about each brand and I came up with some factors:

price of the coffee - $1.00 range versus $3.00 at Starbucks
marketing/positioning of the brands (see commercials & ads)
popularization by the media as celebrities tend to always have a Bux Cup*
variety of drinks and flavourings
ordering is simple & straightforward vs. varied & complicated
the people who frequent the place - a class/social image and status thing perhaps?

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So what do you think, dear readers?

When you purchase brand-specific goods, are you keenly aware of the way you will be perceived while you carry or use them? Do you ever make purchases from a more "acceptable" brand despite favoring a product that coincides with an image you don't care for?

Be honest. It's probably more common than you think.

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DISCUSSION

adah
Jane, you ignorant slut.

Fun fact about Tim Hortons - the Canadians so love it, they deploy official government personnel to work at the Tim Hortons on Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. All the US shops on the air field are run by local or third country hires (people from Bangladesh, usually). But the Canadians want to make sure they get their Timmy Hortons right, so they send honest-to-goodness, full wages government employees, who usually work jobs requiring college degrees, pay them hazard pay, and have them making doughnuts and serving coffee to their troops. They're pretty fun to talk to, actually, once you get past the first five minutes of "No, this is NOT what I do back at home!"