Brand loyalty, in marketing, consists of a consumer's commitment to repurchase or otherwise continue using the brand and can be demonstrated by repeated buying of a product or service or other positive behaviors such as word of mouth advocacy.
Brand loyalty is more than simple repurchasing, however. Customers may repurchase a brand due to situational constraints (such as vendor lock-in), a lack of viable alternatives, or out of convenience. Such loyalty is referred to as "spurious loyalty". True brand loyalty exists when customers have a high relative attitude toward the brand which is then exhibited through repurchase behavior. This type of loyalty can be a great asset to the firm: customers are willing to pay higher prices, they may cost less to serve, and can bring new customers to the firm. For example, if Joe has brand loyalty to Company A he will purchase Company A's products even if Company B's are cheaper and/or of a higher quality.
A climbing partner and I were out training yesterday. Like everyone I suspect, we eventually got around to discussing gear. When the topic of gloves came up I mentioned 2 specific MH gloves. Josh mentioned he liked OR better.
I climb in a OR Vert more than any other glove, so fair enough.
Which made me think about brand loyalty. I first thought I didn't have any brand loyalty....no matter what you you might think by reading the blog.
Then I rethought that idea this morning before I started writing. Of course I have brand loyalty. But I don't suggest brands when I talk gear. I suggest specific models from specific brands. The difference is subtle but important.
An example? I love my La Sportiva Trango Extreme Evos. But for several reasons I think the Batura is one of the poorest mtn boot designs available currently. And I have climbed in both boots a lot to come to that opinion. Good brand, with easy examples of one bad and one good product for my use. But La Sportiva boots may not fit you. Good brand for me generally because the boots will fit...but they may be not be a good brand for you because they don't.
How useful a specific model of that brand is to you is something totally different yet.
Truth is I just want to go climbing!
So when it comes to brand loyalty I am swayed by the guarantee and over all quality from my own experiences. Eddie Bauer, Outdoor Research, Mountain Equipment Coop, and REI sway me because I know they will take care of anything they sell. No questions and no hassle. North Face, La Sportiva, Kayland and a few others you had better get ready to take a cold bath if my personal experience is anything to rely on. Their customer service can be a little..shall we say...lacking.
There is so much amazing gear available from boots to clothing to hardware.
Don't get stuck on brand names. Look for features, your and other's experiences to find gear that will work the best for you.
I own and mix and match crampons from Grivel, Black Diamond and Petzl. Any one of the manufactures could do "something" better imo. My favorite Frankenstein 'pons are only slightly better than what you can buy off the shelf from any of the three. But I know enough now that most anything can be done better if you look at it critically and know what the intended use will be. So I look at making anything better for my own use. Sometimes it is hard or next to impossible for what ever reason. Sometimes it takes only a few minutes and some imagination.
I don't think MH is any better than OR, but I have found two MH gloves I like better than anything OR currently offers. But I will still use my OR verts the majority of time. MH is no longer so easy to get a warranty replacement on a "life time" warranty. OR? Still stellar customer service.
It is a individual item thing not a brand name thing. But it pays to look at both.