The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More On Brand Loyalty

There's a phenomenon where a chick, upon hatching, fixates on the first thing it sees. It believes the object, animal, or person, is its mother apparently and follows it around. Well, we do that too, to some extent. We identify with people (family, friends, lovers) and become attached to them. We identify with pets also. Some treat them as substitute children and dote on them. We also do this with objects. We love our cars, they become an extension of our personalities. Advertisers use this in their trade. They do their best to make us identify with the product. In some cases, with some people, they are extremely successful. They call these people "brand loyal". I won't tell you what I call them.

Yesterday I published a little screed that was about commercials and why they might be designed to annoy. In the process, I played a little game of my own. I intentionally tweaked a nerve. In so doing, I managed to make some people completely ignore over half of the post and concentrate on one thing.

I mentioned the Mac.

Just as one might say a Rolls Royce is the ultimate luxury car, perhaps the finest car on the market, it is just a car. Perhaps the Maserati is more your style. A fine piece of Italian machinery. But it, too, is just a car. The discerning car buyer purchases the automobile that he can afford which best suits his needs. It is the man who wants to show off, to "prove" his superiority, that buys something way beyond his needs. Does a Cadillac get you to the mall any faster or better than that Chevrolet Impala or Ford Taurus? Not really. Neither does the Rolls Royce, the Bentley, or the Maserati.

I have known people who would never even look at a Ford when shopping for a new car. Some who buy them every time they want a new car. I know some who adore GM, some who swear by their Toyota.

In the end, the car is merely transportation. All else is just window dressing for the ego.

It is that way for computers. You purchase one based on your needs, not based on your identity. Okay, maybe you don't. But I do. I buy things because they suit my needs, not for bragging rights or to impress. I do not spend my money on things in order to enhance my image (public or self). All I need the computer to do is allow me to type into it (simple word processing), surf the internet (run browser software), and allow me to play a few games that entertain me. I do no engineering or design work. I don't do any animation or create movies. My computer is a machine, a tool, which I use to do certain tasks. It is not an extension of my personality. It is not my religion.

If you wish to pay 3 to 4 times what I paid for my last computer, go right ahead. If it makes you feel smarter or superior then, by all means, do it. But think about this...

If you are really superior, or smarter, why would you care what computer I buy?
Because you know something? I really don't care what computer you own.


Argentum Vulgaris said...

ANd shoes are merely to put feet in, which was the tone of a previous post Douglas. There are so many people that behave like sheep when it comes to brands, and like the aforementioned animal (no offense to those who have black ones in the family) no idea why, they don't realise they have been boarbi brainwashed.

Small Footprints said...

Good post! I think about this concept when it comes to homes. US homes have grown in size over the years. We see huge homes for small families. It's such a waste. And in the end ... it's still only a few walls.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Small Footprints

Michael said...

Did somebody try to make you feel inferior lately?

I agree with the fact that material possessions are not a part of personality. The same goes for the TV shows we watch, the music we listen to, the movies we pay to see, the games we play, the books we read, the magazines we subscribe to and the blogs we read. And the list goes on. None of those are indicators of one's character.


Douglas said...

AV, you cut right to the heart of things. A gift for brevity as well as wit.

Small Footprints, I thought of that analogy also. You said it well.

Michael, people may try. I stopped feeling it long ago. You are mature beyond your tender years.

Neo said...

Tag, your it!!

Michael said...

You got tagged. :D


yolanda said...

i find it vaguely amusing how hung up people get about which computer is 'better'. i use macs because i work in video. but i have no problem using a pc. its amazing how people adopt snobbery in any domain of life they can, just so they can feel superior to others :-D