Brand Affinity

September 14, 2007

I don’t like to admit that I’m a sucker for certain brands, but I’ve come to realize that there are probably three or so that I really am slavishly devoted to. I think these are:

* Apple products. This one I’m least proud of, but it is what it is. I own a MacBook Pro, a G5 desktop, a 23″ studio display, two iPods and and iPhone. I share a Mac Mini with Mr. Pencil. What it comes down to is that I spend as much as half of my waking life in front of a computer. It needs to work well, and the peripherals and devices need to integrate with it. It feels right.
* Aveda. I am not much of a girl, and cosmetics are certainly not a big spending point for me. However, one thing that cures my ills: anxiety, headaches, exhaustion, stress and fury–a bath. Add to that my searingly sharp sensitivity to smells, and it adds up to what Aveda sells: admittedly expensive, wonderful smelling, world- and animal-loving products that are great for soaking in. Problem is, Aveda bath salts are $36. Not a typo: $36. How does one justify that kind of spending? Maybe by putting it on one’s wishlist and passive-aggressively hoping that someone buys it for my thirtieth birthday, which happens to be NEXT MONTH. Hint, hint. Hint. Self-loathing.
* Tsubo shoes. I’m on my third pair. I don’t buy a lot of shoes (or clothes for that matter; I’m kind of a charity case), but these fit what my friend Aileen calls my “techno-sporty” fashion sense. I’ve been buying them for five or six years, and they have consistently been my “everyday” shoes. Do the math: that means each pair is lasting 2-3 years. And I walk a lot.

I’d like to be without brand loyalty. It makes me feel a bit weird. But I think everyone around here has this problem. I ran it by Mr. Pencil and he reacted immediately: “I don’t have any brand loyalty!” Except that after five minutes’ conversation, we’d exposed these:

* Google (yeah, it’s a brand)
* BMW Motorcycles and parts
* REI products (to a lesser extent)

What are your brand loyalties?


  1. Gray says:

    Uh, I think mine might be Legion?

    Levi-Strauss jeans
    LL Bean backpacks
    Mountain Dew / Doritos (I try every variety with gusto)
    Matt Groening
    New Balance
    Kraft cheesefood items

    Others, surely.

  2. Brett says:

    Too many to list…
    Kitchen Aid, etc, etc
    Herman Miller

    And embarrassingly I do love me some Starbucks

  3. Autumn says:


    the Gap/BP manufacture makes shirts that are small through the shoulders and forgiving in other places. To the same end certain British clothiers: Freya, Rigby & Pellier, and Panache.

    Nike (I know, I know)
    Desert Pepper Trading Company
    Burt and his Bees
    Trader Joe’s

    Mostly mine are just tendencies, not unshakable loyalties. The only thing upon which I will not occasionally stray is my hairdresser. And I don’t think he qualifies as a brand all by himself…

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Gray says:

    Oh, also Pringles. I love Pringles, and their fight against Frito-Lay domination.

  6. Aileen says:

    Well, there’s Coach. My little fixation started when I worked there but has persisted long after the employee discount ended. A big N-O to their fabric C logo line however.

    Also, Linea Paolo shoes. They embraced the whole patent leather trend a little too heartily but I’m willing to overlook this. The things they can do with the peep-toe ankle-strap combo… sigh.

    And Banana Republic. They have an extensive tall line for women that seems made for my body type (the unusually long limbs of an orangutan paired with the shoulders of a Russian beet farmer).

  7. Gray says:

    Ahem, Heinz Ketchup for all!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t really have a problem admitting that I like certain brand products. I can’t say that I’m not willing to try other brands, but at the very least look to these brands first when shopping.

    New Balance tennis shoes (I am on my feet A LOT!)
    Zebra pens and mechanical pencils (I also write A LOT!)
    Pontiac (I own two Pontiac cars-a Solstice and a G6-and love them both)
    Fiji Bottled Water (it really does taste better)
    Oreo cookies (nothings better than the original)
    St. Ives skin care products (they’re a little more expensive but worth it)

  9. [...] about brands and our relationship to them. One of the co-founders of Cloud Four, Lyza, wrote about Brand Affinity recently. My ex-coworker Chris Higgins picked up the theme on Mental Floss. Finally, [...]

  10. [...] to think of myself as being particularly tied to brands, but after reading my friend Lyza’s Brand Affinity post, it occurred to me that I might have a few brand affinities. I define brand affinity as any [...]

Related Posts

Scipio the Computer has deemed that these might be similar in content!
Wonderful games with Caslon