Because they reflect who we think we are and/or who we aspire to be.
Brands – every brand – gives customers some kind of emotional reaction. That can be good (think Sesame Street) or it can be bad (think BP).
Brands have created this emotional connect through marketing, public relations and advertising. They still do. But, as everyone knows, the web and social media have changed the way we react and communicate with the brands we use.
As a social communicator and marketer, I like to think I’m immune to the deluge of marketing and PR messages out there. That somehow I have the fortitude to stand above it. Of course, that is nonsense. Not only because we can all be influenced, but because the brands I choose to use and identify with are part of who I am.
So that said I sat down and drew up of a list of brands that I really like. Here are three of my favorites and why I identify with them:
I swear that I’m not a coffee snob. In fact, I can often enjoy a really bad cup of joe. But I do love Starbucks. I’m addicted to the lattes (although I try not to drink more than a few each week because of the calories. And, yes, I know there are low calorie options, but they just don’t taste as good). Starbucks always puts me a good frame of mind. When I walk into the shops I feel the creative energy surging through me. Starbucks connotes to me: writing, literature, music, conversation and learning.
That’s why I like visiting and drinking their coffee. They have friendly staff, comfortable shops, free wi-fi, and really good coffee. Yes, they are expensive, but I’m willing to pay more for that vibe and experience I have when I’m there.
I’m an avid listener to NPR, mostly to my local channel at WBUR. NPR is a brand that brings to mind intellectual pursuits and hard-nosed journalism (the real fair and balanced). I get a lot of value from the time I spend listening to NPR – from On Point Radio with Tom Ashbrook to Fresh Air with Terry Gross. And if there is a better news show that All Things Considered, please let me know because I want to read it or listen to it.
NPR makes me feel smarter – makes every drive or commute feel like a learning experience. I feel sharp and informed by NPR and have develop a likeness for its style and for its reporters.
I’m an office store junkie and Staples is like visiting a toy store. I can poke around a Staples store for hours – sometimes just touching the pens. Yes, I’m a geek.
Staples conjures up images of getting things done. Getting organized. Moving forward. Being creative and smart about it. And Staples does it with a sense of humor and a friendly, efficient attitude. It doesn’t get much better than that.
What about you? What brands do you love and why?