Brand loyalty, good or bad habit?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by gnappi, Apr 1, 2021.

  1. gnappi

    gnappi Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    South Florida
    I'll admit that in my life, and generally and across the board in products I use, I have brand loyalty. From the brand of mayonnaise to bread to electronics I buy I give first choice to certain brands.

    Invariably it's because I've had very good experiences with a brand and I'm reluctant to "waste" money on trying new brands. The few times I did, I was disappointed.

    That brings me to handguns. I make no excuse for the fact that I prefer Sig, Beretta, Tanfoglio and S&W firearms but none in "new" styles like polymer.

    I don't have rose colored glasses and can (and do) nitpick the functionality (not necessarily cosmetic) of handguns and all my preferred brands. They all have nits, but none so severe as to try a different brand / logo though :)

    So when I read reviews either by professional sycophant gun writers or a casual user that have only accolades I wonder if it's factually accurate, brand loyalty or a bad habit writing.

    In a gun store recently I said something negative about a Sig X5 (IMO being unusable for competition with an unusable slide stop) and you'd think I farted loudly in church during the sermon :)

    Some brand loyal users don't like criticism of their sacred cow :)
  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    SE GA
    Everyone has different needs, perceptions, physical characteristics, background, and past experiences.

    I hope and pray that anyone takes all of these and more into consideration when making the purchase of anything.
    kcofohio and .308 Norma like this.
  3. bear166

    bear166 Member

    Sep 3, 2020
    Sure, but generally I'd call it more of an "expectation" or a "trust" than a "loyalty." When the brass Starline sells me always shows up spick and span without any flaws, I have an expectation that this should generally always be the case, and I really see no reason to look elsewhere (except in recent days where it's often difficult to find) since I trust them to follow through. I'm the sort that likes to find a brand that always seems to deliver quality products and then stick with them, makes shopping a lot easier!

    There's a few businesses I consider myself a loyal patron of, though. Hornady is an exception to the above rule, because they're right down the road and do a lot in my community, so there have been many times I bought their stuff instead, even if RCBS has something better for the price point (and no disrespect to RCBS, I trust them to get me good products too). And I'll always buy from the local hardware store since the people that run it are always fair and helpful, even though I could get things cheaper at Menards.
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    With any product or even a person when I am introduced the feild is neutral. I talk to or read about the interactions with others and the expectations go up or down with that feedback. There are some firearms and reloading tools that get 99% good ratings and I usually will try for myself and see. Everyone will make a lemon now and again but how it's handled is the key. Lots of articles in magazines are merely advertisements for a product and I take that accordingly. Heck even Hi Points are good for the price point IMHO.
  5. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    SA, TX
    I am pretty loyal to brands as well. I think it’s built into us that when something works or we have good experience with certain brands, it only makes sense to continue using them until things change (which all to often happens).

    The issue I have is with folks who get too “brand loyal” or stuck in their own paradigms and they become jerks about things.

    I am an unapologetic Glock shooter. I also like and own other brands, but I almost always carry and shoot Glocks because it works for me.

    But I am fully supportive of folks who prefer other brands or styles. You prefer revolvers or 1911’s or whatever, press on!

    I just get tired of the folks who continually put down another persons choice, as if it really mattered to them.

    You want to crow on about your favorite flavor, have at it...but don’t whine about mine.
    Harriw, Bfh_auto, danez71 and 4 others like this.
  6. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    My honest answer is I used to be. I have always been a revolver person and loyal to the S&W brand. I have bought and sold many firearms over the years, and also have been introduced to many different brands throughout the work I was exposed to by doing cleaning, repair, custom tuning, etc for a local Gun shop. Two things have driven me to different brands in later years. One is price, and the other is quality of specific guns within a different brand. I for example own a Rossi Model 720 in .44 Special instead of a M696 S&W. In this case I find the quality of that specific Model of Rossi to be be very satisfactory and at a fraction of the cost of the S&W. Perhaps I should add a third. Certain other brand models have features not obtainable in S&W .
  7. reloaded_in_pa
    • Contributing Member

    reloaded_in_pa Contributing Member

    Dec 6, 2020
    For the most part I buy what fits my needs at the time. I do have favorite brands, S&W, Colt and Ruger. I wanted a night stand gun and couldn't justify that expense for something that would most likely never be fired. So for that case a Hi Point was sufficient.
  8. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

    Apr 9, 2020
    I have more rugers than any other brand but that may be because I like the revolvers they make
  9. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

    Jan 19, 2010
    Galveston Bay is an Hour Away ©
    There are some brands that I come to like better than others, but I really don't have brand loyalty. I've never been the type to just spend my money on one or two manufacturers. I like a broad sampling of different brands and types of firearms.

    Of course, my recent spouting off about Marlin in other threads sure makes me seem like a fanboi of that brand at the present. :p
  10. Sovblocgunfan

    Sovblocgunfan Member

    Jan 24, 2014
    Stick with what works for you. Until it doesn’t. Then find something else that works for you.
    22250Rem, Dibbs, Pat Riot and 3 others like this.
  11. TomJ
    • Contributing Member

    TomJ Contributing Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Illinois/SE Wisconsin
    There are brands I trust as they've been reliable, and if I had a problem that problem was resolved quickly and correctly. That builds loyalty. There are also brands with which I've had the opposite experience and have earned me avoiding them. I'll frequently see posts on this site speaking positively about the brands I avoid, and I let that go unless someone is asking for feedback in which case I'll share my experience. If someone has a good experience with a manufacturer I don't care for I'm legitimately happy for them as I gain nothing by someone else having a problem with a gun. I sometimes see forum members getting upset with someone who criticizes their manufacturer of choice. I don't understand that, as I figure if the worse thing that happens to me today is someone criticizes one of my favorite manufacturers I've had a really good day.
    98s1lightning and Buzznrose like this.
  12. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

    Nov 29, 2019
    In my area brands usually are due to who supports the product in your area.
    A few years back they had a batch of Asian made atv's show up and they had reasonable prices.
    Tgey flew off the showrooms and they hit the bush.
    The problem was when the going got rough these atv's dropped like flies in a cold snap.
    No parts, No service, No Support of any kind.
    In off road Alaska village in my area its Honda ATV's, Yamaha Outboards, and Polaris Snowmobiles.
    We rarely see Chinese made vehicles as they tend to not stand up to use.
    Espicially hard Alaskan Use/abuse.
    They are a representative of the transportation you will encounter in my knook of Off Highway System Alaska.

    Its who is the weapons wholesaler of your local dealer (like 'Davidsons').
    On used guns Id encountered weapons Id not considered.
    The Mossberg "Deal too good to pass up"
    The moving sale Taurus
    The moving sale Chiappa.
    Local pawn shop H&R Pardner Pump
    Same with a newTaurus rimfire pump.

    Then you get internet deals the local FFL processes.
    That could be Anything!

    Brand you trust because you wernt burned seems common place.

    Another is what region specific brands are available.

    Yes that is a wolf hide seat cover.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
    Harriw, stonebuster, 22250Rem and 3 others like this.
  13. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Near Gettysburg, PA
    Brand reputation for quality control, dependability, and good customer service build a loyal following.
    Harriw, stonebuster and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  14. Zendude

    Zendude Member

    Mar 27, 2015
    Brand loyalty should only be a problem if you purchase a gun (or anything else) based on brand loyalty alone, even though the product does not fit or function well or otherwise meet your needs.
    Harriw and NIGHTLORD40K like this.
  15. JR24

    JR24 Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Upper Midwest
    Pretty much this. I find something I like then use it. Occasionally I'll try new things and see if they work better but largely once I find "the one" for a tool or whatever I don't deviate all that much.

    Though, again, I do keep an open mind for new things.
  16. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Northern Indiana
    While most people (particularly guys) are eager to offer opinions, typically their personal sample size is too insignificant to be meaningful. I tend to rely on manufacturers that value their reputations rather than ones meeting a specific (low) price point.

    Doing so may result in my overpaying in some cases, but I’ve very seldom gotten an unserviceable product. Browning, Leupold, CZ, and Dillon all come to mind

    When it comes to something like food, I’m more than willing to try something different. I’m going to have another meal soon, so there’s little downside. But, if you buy something like a gun or scope, you’re more likely to be saddled with an inferior product for an extended timeframe.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021
  17. Dale Alan

    Dale Alan Member

    Jul 25, 2017
    That is the way I do it also . The way a person conducts business with me makes or breaks it . If they do me wrong I move on .
    J-Bar likes this.

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

    Mar 17, 2015
    Nostramo (in absentia), Segmentum Ultima
    I like Smith revolvers, Sig (metal) pistols, Savage rifles, and Browning shotguns.

    But Ive got all different kinds and like them too.:)
    stillquietvoice likes this.
  19. cc-hangfire

    cc-hangfire Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    I’ll admit that - as an accumulator (my firearms are all shooters & so to call myself a collector would be a stretch) - I really like variety. I want to see what they’re all like to shoot, and disassemble and maintain. Some are fine quality and some are near junk.

    For EDC & home use, I do lean to brand loyalty - or at least manual of arms similarity. If I really NEED a firearm, I don’t want to have to remember which manual of arms it is.
    allergygal likes this.
  20. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Northern Indiana
    It’s unfortunate that some brands exploit loyalty for short term profits. When I was a kid (60’s), Black & Decker was a premier tool manufacturer. Same with Craftsman.

    Now they’re lower mid-tier to garbage

    Remington comes to mind n firearms. Model 700’s were the rifles others were judged by
    Harriw and ozarkhillbilly like this.
  21. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    If I have good experiences with a particular brand, and the price is right, I will buy more. But brands are transitory, today made in America, tomorrow China, day after that, Thailand.

    The firearms community is manipulated just like any other group, and Industry has learned how to create Cult brands and branding.

    I do like this idea on the culpability and intelligence of the masses:

    The attention economy

    In today’s society, people do not think much anymore. Instead they merely consume. More news, more views and more opinions which aren’t theirs become gorged at will. While the information and internet age has opened education up to the masses, it hasn’t taught us the art of critical thinking. Many people do not possess the ability to sort all these opinions, separating the good from the bad, and fact from fiction. In an ear of distraction, people spend more time scrolling their phones rather than stepping back and analyzing what they’re seeing.

    As a result, the media determines to a large scale our thoughts and the lens which we view the world.

    The quiet Role Public Relations Plays in Shaping Consumer’s Opinion

    Kevin O’Leary

    This is an hour long program, but I listened to all of it:

    Sheffield Doc/Fest - 2011 - How to be a Cult Leader

    Atkin outlines a simple ten-step formula for elevating a brand to cult status based on the shared strategies found in all cults, religions, and cult-like brands.

    Here is the step-by-step plan:

    10 Easy Steps for Successful “Culting” of Your Brand

    Difference – Distance your cult from the establishment or norm. Form your own niche. People love to rebel against the norm.

    Connectors – Recruit successful, attractive, and sociable souls to spread the word and drive growth. These are your influencers.

    Exclusivity – Limit entry to your group. Not anyone can join or the members wouldn’t feel as special or enticed by it. (Learn more about exclusivity and how your brand can do it right here.)

    Solidarity – A clear sense of belonging to the group creates loyalty and word-of-mouth.

    Ideology – A clear belief system outlines the values that the group is expected to uphold.

    Lovebomb – Overwhelm your customers with love to let them know how appreciated and welcome they are in the group.

    Paradox – Make joiners feel that they become more individual, despite the fact that they are joining a group. Make them feel like they are discovering a new sense of self, or finding a new way to express their individuality.

    An Enemy – Define what you are and are not to rally your group against the competition. (Think PC vs Mac.)

    Contact – Splash your ideas onto the right people.

    Let go – Don’t be a wide-read, psychopathic, control-obsessive cult leader or you risk losing everything you’ve built. Allow the vision you built to grow and evolve on its own.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
    BigBore44, Riomouse911 and JR24 like this.
  22. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    American culture is steeped in brand loyalty and has been for generations; from the truck you drive, to the tires it rides on, to the oil you put into it, most Americans (not all) have brands they prefer. Lots of whisky and beer have been consumed during the pro and con arguments over each of these items.... and people often stick to the same whisky they like and the beer they prefer over others while arguing, too.

    Same goes for firearms; most people have a few brands they place over others. It may be from personal may be a product of familial intergenerational preference... it may be because that was what they were issued...heck, it can be just to piss off their mouthy brother in law. No matter the reason it’s often there. :)

    It’s fine to like, or even love, a brand or style or caliber of firearm... but when you start deriding others choices strictly because they went with Yin to your Yang for no other reason than you don’t like Yin... IMHO that’s when you lose credibility. ;)

    Stay safe.
  23. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

    Feb 11, 2013
    I have no brand loyalty. I simply expect results. If I don’t get results, I will try something else. It’s foolish to believe one brand is the best or others are substandard based on brand name alone. You simply must match your expectations based on components. I do not expect a HiPoint (I don’t have one but do not begrudge those that do) to be as smooth in function as my Dan Wesson. But I do expect the HiPoint to fire when I pull the trigger. And I expect the bullet to go where it’s pointed.

    I currently have a Nissan Frontier with 200k miles on it. I have serviced it myself. It has been a fantastic truck. Its done more than most trucks in its class would do. I’d like to have another when this one dies (if it ever does). But if I found a nice Chevy, or Toyota at a good deal, I’d have no qualms about buying one. Because there’s no guarantee that if I bought another Frontier, it would be as dependable as the one I have now.
    Slamfire likes this.
  24. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    Back on Puget Sound
    "Reviews." Sigh. At this point in my life, "reviews" are the last things I consider when in the market to buy a new anything (vehicle, firearm, big-screen TV, food processor, whatever). I try to network with professionals who use the particular product, friends and co-workers with verifiable experience with whatever, and my own feelings after handling/driving/testing the product...

    So... Consumer Reports -- never met a Japanese (or now, Korean) motor vehicle they didn't rate higher than any American vehicle. Motor Trend, Car and Driver -- Chevy, Ford, Dodge all rule.

    Human beings are getting paid to write reviews.

    We're all subject to forming biases based on our first experiences with any consumer product, be it a firearm, pick-up truck, toaster or flat-screen HDTV. Paid reviewers are no different.

    So... brand loyalty? My earliest and best experiences with firearms were with Colts, Smith & Wessons, Winchesters, Marlins, Mossbergs, SIGs and Berettas... Have really had no reason to experiment further, although I've owned (or been issued for work), and shot considerably, CZ pistols, Springfield Armory pistols, Baer, Brown, Wilson, Dan Wesson, Glocks, H&K and a few others... Most of them were all fully functional, worthy and enjoyable.

    By the way, I found the slide stop/slide release on the SIG X-5 totally useable.

  25. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

    May 21, 2015
    Southern California
    I have brands of firearms that I like and trust. Firearms that prove themselves spark loyalty in me to buy the brand again because I like and / or trust it. A manufacturer that makes a lemon, like one I had, knocked my trust and shook my loyalty. I gave them another shot and I am glad I did, but my loyalty is not blind. I give gun manufacturers Two Strikes, not three. If there is another strike for me against the manufacturer that already has one strike there will be no more.

    I have noticed that for me I am more more brand loyal with handguns than I am with long guns.
    Riomouse911 likes this.
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