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The Other Kind Of Brand Loyalty

The first in an ongoing series of "articleblogs"

04/12/2009

When the words “brand loyalty” are heard, the first things that come to my mind are simple: car companies, soda types, video game systems, etc. Some people choose to drink only Coke; some people will only eat the Maple Leaf Prime chicken breast for dinner; I am pretty sure that when it comes time to buy a new car, I will be first looking at Lincolns.

There are obvious reasons for picking these things. Advertisements, quality, experience, and reputation all play a part. Though, all in all, being loyal to a specific soda company won’t affect your life all that much.

There is, however, a type of brand loyalty that is much more dangerous – the loyalty that attaches themselves to people and figures as brands. You see, Coca-Cola, Lexus, and Sony are trying to sell you material things. They are trying to move product, make a profit. While the methods and tactics they use are borderline brainwashing at times, it’s still just about pushing product out of the factory. The brand of people? They are trying to push ideals, and lifestyle. These can be much more damaging.

When you believe in someone and become loyal to them, you take on their beliefs and values as your own. There is a good chance that you can lose yourself in their agenda. People bought into the Bush brand. People following blindly because they were loyal to the thoughts and beliefs of the brand of Bush allowed two wars to be started. Now there are 124,000 troops in Iraq and 48,000 in Afghanistan.

Obama was elected into office based on people buying into his brand.
Charismatic, smooth talking, black (yes, black) – these are all characteristics that helped draw people in. Plans, ideas were laid out, all under the guise of “hope.” Hope for change, hope for peace, hope for life. I will admit that around the elections, I was a strong supporter of Obama, though the contrast of his opposition made it all too obvious that he was the only viable option for presidency. In either case, I am moving off of my point.

On Wednesday, Obama announced that there would be yet another repeat of Bush’s actions in 2007. 30,000 additional troops are going to be sent to Afghanistan.

There is something wrong here. Is this not the opposite of what was claimed to be happening? Either way, the point that I am making is that aside from Governors and congressmen, I have yet to see much protest from people. Were it Bush, like it was in 2007, there would be nonstop protest (as there was).

This all relates to my point, as people have bought into the brand. The Obama brand. While I choose to support him in general, I am completely against the new surge. I am against it regardless of the fact that attached to it came a date for the war to be over by because, like closing Guantanamo, the date can always be slid ahead with a slight excuse.

The idle worship isn’t limited to political leaders. Anyone with an opinion has an agenda. People choose to buy into the ideals and feelings of people they believe in. Buying into these things and following without rhyme or reason is an easy way to get pretty lost in yourself.

A lot of the influence I have had to make this site and start trying to post opinions like this, well, it came from somewhere. I don’t feel like getting into the specifics on the issue, but I was at a point where I fell into the trap of brand loyalty. I lost a lot of my own thoughts and opinions and sort of started taking on the traits of the life I wished to emulate. I’ve realized this.

I’ve realized this, and wrote this to warn. No matter how much you think you agree with someone or something – be it politics, music, art, religion – make sure you only let things influence and inspire you. Never let something take over the core of your being only to have you abandon yourself in the process. There are obvious places of opinion that are obviously designed to try and do these things. There are also much more subtle places – some places so subtle that the person at the top of it all probably doesn’t even realize (or want) the blind following they are creating.

Seriously, just be careful.

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