Why do I love certain brands? I think it must as hard to figure out as why you like your friends. There’s a lot of post-rationalization going on I think. I like this friend because he’s fun. She makes me smile. I like hanging out with them. But I have no clue why (this ties into a book I recently read on happiness, see the left bar for the title, which pointed out that us humans are crap at predicting what will make us happy).
An example of a brand I really like. I like British Airways. Don’t ask me why, but I do. They offer a number of objective benefits I appreciate. They fly from Heathrow (and not some airport in the sticks). I’ve got a frequent flyer’s pass with them (my only one. That might shock American readers, all my US friends seem to have enough airmiles to fly to the end of our galaxy and back, but Europeans on the whole don’t really do a lot of frequent flying). I like the uniforms (I think it’s the hats, I’m fond of hats). They fly at times that suit me. I like that they serve my tea with milk. But there’s also plenty that I don’t like about them. They are crap when you need a lastminute flight. It takes a gazillion airmiles to actually get something for free. Their food is appalling (but then again most airline food is). So why do I still fly with them and not any of the lord-knows-how-many airlines that fly between LHR and AMS*? I don’t know. I really don’t. Is it that I don’t like the other airlines? And this one’s the one that’s the best of the worst? Or is there something that I can’t put my finger on that I like about them? I just know that I have a fondness for them. And that I prefer flying with them if at all possible. And that’s what I’ll do on Father’s Day, fly home for a few days before graduation.
Does anyone know of why this is? Why do we love brands for completely irrational reasons, whereas other brands could offer the same in terms of product or service benefits? What’s that intangible bit extra that makes you come back for more?
* Why, you ask, my dear reader, don’ t I prefer any of the Dutch airlines, being Dutch myself? I don’t know. I am proud of them. But I also have an irrational thing against them and against KLM in particular. I don’t like the kneuterigheid (you have to be Dutch for this one, it’s completely lost in any translation) and the jovial tone. I don’t like how they send me emails for special sales with ticket prices that are more expensive than tickets I can get somewhere else not on sale but cheaper. I don’t like to be called ‘we’ (‘do we want a cup of tea?’ ‘Ehm, no thank you, I am fine’) and the pettiness (AMS airport check in. The bag limit is 20kgs. I’m at 22.5 kgs. ‘Miss, when you fly home, you’re going to have to take less stuff’. Ehm. ‘I AM flying home. That’s why my suitcase is so full, I’m bringing back goodies from my parents.’ No reaction. Big opportunity missed to convert me into an KLM evangelist. BA have never, ever, even once complained about 2.5 kgs too much.). Completely irrational, I know.
Alright. Rant over. Procrastination 15 minutes are up. This second year project needs proofreading, spell-checking, printing out, binding and handing in.