Monday, March 24, 2008

Accept No Substitutes

“He goes by the brand, yet imagines he goes by the flavor.”
-Mark Twain

At work I’m busy in the midst of a big research project. This means going to people’s homes, observing them as they perform their normal routine, and then interviewing them about other aspects of their lives.

After writing the discussion guide and then moderating the interviews, I’m forced to consider my own answers to the questions. One particular question caught my eye, “What brands can you just not live without?” In these interviews, the context is your hair care routine, but what about other aspects of my life?

Rob and I just recently conversed about how we aren’t necessarily swayed by brand names. Maybe it stems from our similar backgrounds where we couldn't just go out and blow money on an expensive brand name. Or maybe we aren't comfortable advertising brands on our backs. Or maybe even we don't think that our lifestyle/personality actually fits the statements that are put forth by certain brands.

But I was curious; I wonder how many brands I am loyal to.
Well, after canvassing the drawers, cabinets, & closets in my apartment and mentally walking through the aisles of the local big box store, here goes…

  • Clean and Clear
  • Dove
  • Olay
  • Biore
  • Chapstick
  • Tampax
  • DenTek
  • Nausene
  • Chloroseptic
  • Target
  • Gap
  • Old Navy
  • Timberland
  • NCAA-Georgia Tech
  • Anolon
  • Pyrex
  • Coca Cola
  • Pillsbury
  • Mike’s Hard Lemonade
  • DiGiorno
  • M&Ms
  • Trident
  • Wendy’s
  • Qdoba
  • Mazda
  • Fontanini
  • Google
  • CNN
And of this list, the two that rate highest on this list. Those for which I accept no substitutes…

Tampax Pearl and Coca Cola Classic.
Tampons and sodas…can’t beat that!


  1. We have two Mazdas, so that's one brand we're obviously loyal to.

    For personal care products, I usually by Burt's Bees and Avalon Organics.

    For chocolate, I love M&Ms but am starting to skew toward the more expensive gourmet (often dark) chocolates.

    I prefer Coke over Pepsi any day. And I should add Starbucks to the caffeine list too.

    For shoes, Dansko and Keen, but my children love Crocs.

  2. Hmmm. . .makes me think. While I don't consider myself tied to brands much at all, I do have some favorites----Bare Mineral makeup, Arbonne skin care, Dockers pants, Diet Coke, Lays (baked, of course), Tostitos, Hyundai, Royal Canin puppy food and my favorite snack, Act II popcorn. I think the only one I really couldn't live without is Diet Coke!!

  3. Hmm...good question. I've been thinking and can't really come up with much that I won't ever substitute.

    But, since you considered "NCAA-Georgia Tech" to be a brand, I'm going to have to stand by my loyalties as a good ole Tar Heel--born and bred! :)

  4. i've had to rethink my fave brands since we live where my fave brands are like liquid gold.

    but i will live vicariously through your tampons and pop. a girl can dream...


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