Sunday, March 07, 2010

Brand Loyalty

First a question. Do you think kindles will bring any new readers into the mix? Can bookstores survive widespread kindle use?


Apparently a lot of people have brand loyalty with cars. They buy the same make or manufacturer of car every time. This has been especially true with Toyota customers. Many now are waiting out the current crisis rather than changing brands.

Over the years, we have had a Renault, a Dodge Dart, a Ford Torino, a Chevy Nova, a Ford Taurus, another Nova, a Jeep Cherokee, a Subaru (best car we ever had) and now a Ford Fusion. Our choices were based on both rational and irrational factors. Closeness of dealer, best price, best review in Consumers Report, etc. My brother almost always buys GM products-as did my father. We have several friends who only buy Hondas. (They don't like the Toyota dealer near us).

Do you have brand loyalty with the cars you buy? Does brand loyalty extend to other purchases-like cereal, books by certain authors, over-the-counter pain medication? Or are you the wild and random buyers that we are? The closest we come to brand loyalty is Snackwell's Devil Food Cookies-and that's because we don't like them enough to eat many.

15 comments:

David Cranmer said...

I have lots of scattered thoughts because I just bought a Kindle. Due to my traveling, bringing a extra suitcase for books is taxing. However, I don't want to see print disappear. So my Kindle use is for books I want to read but don't necessarily want as a trophy on the book shelf. Current example is the new Patricia Highsmith biography. Then I ordered print versions of Hard Case Crime novels, Trailsman books, and The Time Traveler's Wife. Those I couldn't imagine reading with the new technology and want for my bookshelf collection.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I wonder if most people will do both though. We have friends who just got one and went on a seven week vacation. Normally they would have frequented the local bookstore in LaJolla-but because of this, they only went into to choose books to download. Worrisome-this moving forward blindly.

David Cranmer said...

For the masses, ebooks will completely swamp print. Book aficionados like ourselves will keep the medium going for a spell longer.

George said...

I'm getting close to buying a Kindle 3 or a NOOK 2 or an Apple iPad. I'll still be buying books, but more and more titles will be available only in e-book formats.

Kieran Shea said...

You know, what I find completely savage are the kiosks in the big bookstores selling the Kindles, etc. Akin to giving a drowning victim a concrete life jacket. As for brand loyalty...depends on quality end-user experience, I think. Like all commercial engagements loyalty goes out the window once you get screwed over (tech glitches, poor customer service, unwanted cross-pitching, etc.) Brands that reach iconic status will always be defined quality. Always. Countless examples. You want to know what will absolutely crush actual book sales? When they make these puppies waterproof and sand-proof. Not a priority I understand (or for laptops, phones, etc.), but eventually....

pattinase (abbott) said...

And what really put a nail in the newspaper business was putting them online and free. We are all contributing to our profession's demise, I fear.

Dorte H said...

Well, mainly when it comes to toothpaste and ketchup. We have a tendency to stick to a car brand, but the last time the Peugeot dealer didn´t want to bargain and the Citroen dealer would so ...

I cannot imagine book lovers will stop buying real books. Most bloggers I know prefer holding a real book in their hands when they are at home, but they like kindle for traveling. I have no plans for buying one; reading on any kind of screen tastes of work.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I could never give up the book covers for one thing--I like to be surrounded by them--but this may be antiquated thinking.

Dana King said...

I guess I have brand loyalty, though it's pretty easily breached. Once I find something I can rely on, I'll tend to stay with it until I have some reason for concern, or stumble onto something better. I drive a Honda, though I've driven other cars, as well. My Honda experience is such that I'll probably never buy anything else.

Now, if Honda has a Toyota-esque recall catastrophe before I look for another car, all bets are off. Brand loyalty has to run both ways.

Anonymous said...

Patti, we're on our second straight Subaru and given the choice I'd never buy anything else.

So to answer your question, yes.

Before that I drove a VW Beetle for 16 years, then a series of hand-me-down cars from my in laws.

I don't think non readers are going to start just because of the Kindle, but I'm sure some people will buy them because they're trendy.

I doubt I'll get one.

Jeff M.

Anonymous said...

Otherwise, yes, we do tend to brand loyalty if there is something we like. Ketchup, mayonnaise, cereal, etc. But we also try generics, especially in over the counter meds and otherwise when the ingredients are the same.

We eat Kellogg's Complete Wheat Bran Flakes as a rule. Down here we saw Publix brand - exactly the same ingredients, much cheaper - so tried it. Sadly, it wasn't quite the same (thinner flakes, not as crisp) so went back to the old one.

Jeff M.

Rob Kitchin said...

Had a loan of a Kindle, wasn't for me. I'd sooner visit local bookshops when away for a while, discover new authors and haul the dead wood home. As for brand loyalty, I tend to be driven by price and quality. I don't have a frequent flyer card (always fly cheapest or most convenient route/times) or a supermarket loyalty card. I am though relatively loyal to some shops, such as local bookshops and try to give them a good share of my book buying.

kitty said...

I had a Subaru Legacy, and while it was a great car, the cost of replacement parts was astounding. At the time, it was almost double of what GM replacement parts cost.

I honestly have no interest in a Kindle. I love books. New books and used. I love looking at their covers, flipping through their pages, holding them, stacking them. I love curling up on the couch with a book. The thought of curling up with a Kindle leaves me cold. I have four shelves of books yet to read, and I'm still buying more.
...

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, I agree. Generic cereals are usually inferior. I'm not sure if its familiarity or poor ingredients.
I have a feeling at some point, when the boldness of the print and the ability to resize gets important, I will buy a kindle. But it will never be the same relationship.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I don't have brand loyalty as much as a long list of products, stores, or performers I refuse to deal with. A shit list if you will.

I'd love it if a Kindle owner would buy my first book, which is available through Amazon:
LOVE, DEATH AND THE TOYMAN by Robert S. Napier. Thanks and sorry for the BSP.