A friend of mine was recently lamenting on Facebook that Target had stopped carrying her favorite brand of conditioner.
Now she knows I am a person who believes that abandoning brand loyalty is an easy way to save money on the things you need, and she confessed that she just couldn’t switch brands because this is what worked best for her.
And you know what? That’s totally okay!
While I buy a lot of store brands and am willing to try a variety of name brands when I find a great sale with coupons, I do believe there are times when having brand loyalty is okay. There are times when buying name brand may even save you money in the long run.
When Having Brand Loyalty Is Okay
I do have some brand loyalty for some household items, beauty products, and even clothing. And sometimes that brand loyalty has changed as the products themselves have changed. I think having brand loyalty is okay when:
You’ve tried other products and they just don’t compare. If you’ve tried a variety of products and they just don’t work or you discover the quality is poor, then you’re wasting your time and your money. Sticking to what works best for you, and budgeting for the purchase of those products is a lot smarter than throwing money away on junk.
You’ve done your research to rule out other lower-cost alternatives. It’s easy to just grab whatever is front and center on the store shelves, but doing your homework can save you more money. Shop around for similar products in stores and online. See if you can’t make your own items like cleaning products or beauty treatments. Check out Consumer Reports at your library to see what brands they’ve tested.
There isn’t any other alternative. If you have discovered a name brand product that works well for you and you can’t find a store-brand equivalent or another brand of equal quality and lower cost, then stick with what works for you. Sometimes allergies can prevent you from selecting alternatives. Sometimes the store’s selection is non-existent. In those cases, it can be best to go with what you know.
The product comes with a good loyalty program. Some name brand products have loyalty programs that reward you for purchasing their products. If you are good about saving your rewards points, you can often get significant savings on that brand or rewards for things like gift cards that can help you stretch your budget. Although the brand may cost more upfront, the rewards may actually make buying the brand name a better deal.
If you’re buying a brand because all your friends use it or because it’s what you’ve always done, or because the commercials got to you, then you need to stop and re-think your motives. But if you’re intentionally buying a particular brand because you believe it provides you with the best value for your money and you have the budget to buy it, then go right ahead.
Now it’s your turn: Are there times you always buy the brand name product? How do you decide?