Respond to two or more of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
- Share a key influence related to choosing a brand that a colleague posted that you may have overlooked in your initial posting. Be specific about why that influence would (or would not) be appropriate for you in choosing a product or service, and give examples from your experience that support your observation.
- Using one of your colleague’s activities, explain how that particular activity would lead to certain choices or products, services, or brands and why.
- Expand on a colleague’s post by offering additional factors that could influence product/service use or selection or brand preference.
General Guidance: Your Shared Practice Discussion post, due by Day 5, will typically be 2–3 paragraphs, and your responses, due by Day 7, will each typically be 1–2 paragraphs in length as a general expectation/estimate. Refer to the rubric for the Week 1 Shared Practice Discussion for grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use the rubric to assess your work.
I love to shop! Whether it is for groceries, clothes, or cleaning supplies, I am always armed with a coupon. For my 45th birthday, I traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and spent the weekend at a beautiful log cabin in the mountains. I always travel with my cellular phone and my favorite laundry detergent. Verizon wireless can be expensive, but is guaranteed to work wherever you go. Since I do not like to bring soiled clothes back home from vacation, I depend on Tide. I need a laundry detergent that not only smells good but cleans your clothes. There are many competitors, but nothing cleans like Tide. According to Perreault, Cannon, and McCarthy (2014), this practice is called “brand preference” where customers choose brands because of habit or favorable past experiences (p. 238). Shoppers have surprisingly strong feelings about laundry detergent. In a 2009 survey, Tide ranked in the top three brand names that consumers at all income levels were least likely to give up regardless of the recession. That loyalty has enabled its manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, to position the product in a way that defies economic trends. At upwards of $20 per 150-ounce bottle, Tide costs about 50 percent more than the average liquid detergent yet outsells Gain, the closest competitor by market share by more than two to one (Paytner, 2014).
Given the circumstances, between these two products, the brand that was most influential was Verizon wireless. Several years ago, I traveled to Nags Head, North Carolina with my three best friends, who all had different cellular providers. Meanwhile, T-Mobile, Sprint, Boost Mobile, and AT&T would not allow anyone to make or receive calls on the isolated islands. Investing, on average, more than $6 billion a year in coverage and expanding the capacity of our nationwide network has kept Verizon Wireless’ reputation for quality wireless network service high on consumers’ radar screens. Emphasis on customer service through offerings such as Wireless Workshops gives customers hands-on training from device experts. And, Verizon Wireless regularly gets high ranks for both network quality and customer service of independent, third-party surveys, including Root Metrics and J. D. Power and Associates (Pica, 2012). Upon returning home, I immediately switched from Boost Mobile to Verizon so I would never have to ask the question “can you hear me now”?
This past weekend was my birthday, so I engaged in certain activities that I normally would not have on a typical weekend. One service that I used was a manicure and pedicure offered by a nail salon called Essie. I chose this service simply because I wanted to treat myself. As a teacher, I typically forgo the nail salon and just do my own manicures at home because it is cheaper that way and because I tend to mess my nails up quickly doing science experiments anyway.
I decided to go to this particular nail salon because of a few reasons. The first reason is because it is located in an upscale shopping plaza not too far from my home. There were plenty of other nail salons that I passed heading to Essie, but for some reason, the location of my chosen nail salon was attractive to me. A second reason is because their name is Essie. Essie is the name of a popular nail polish brand that is expensive, but of great quality. Although this nail salon is not affiliated with that brand, they do carry a lot of those nail polishes. The final reason was because of how regal the nail salon looked. The décor was magnificent with chandeliers, greenery, and beautiful statues. I figured if I was going to treat myself, I might as well do so in a grand establishment.
A second service that I engaged in was a massage. I chose this service because I am familiar with all of the benefits of massage therapy and because I someday want to own a salon. I get inspiration from engaging in salon services and it also allows me to conduct my own form of research in a way. The particular spa I chose to book my massage at was offering a special where the price was temporarily half off. I checked the reviews for the establishment and they were rated highly, their hours of operation worked well with my schedule, and they were not located far from my home. So, price, the desire to treat myself, and the other aforementioned factors greatly influenced my selection.
The brand of the service providers I utilized over the weekend did not play a significant influence on my selection. Neither the nail salon nor the spa was a franchise or well-known establishment in the area, so my selection was solely based on the service that I wanted. However, the nail salon’s name, Essie, subtly reminded me of the nail polish brand I mentioned earlier, so that did have an indirect effect on my choice. For me, brand usually plays a significant role when I am purchasing products, especially costly ones. With regards to services, I tend to give small and startup businesses a chance, but I still compare prices, check reviews, and consider convenience. Some companies have not been able to establish a secure level of brand awareness, but that does not mean they are not worthy of patronizing. As long as the product/service, place, promotion, and price variables are aligned with my needs as a consumer, I will support a business (Perreault, Cannon, & McCarthy, 2014).