Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On Loyalty, Shirts, and Murders

In consumer behavior, I learned that there are four types of loyalty. You basically have a two-by-two matrix, where one axis is something akin to "relative attitude" (so, how much you like it) and the other axis is "repeated patronage" (how often you buy the product). The four types are:

No Loyalty (Non-Favorable View & Low Patronage): I have no loyalty to the MTV or BET stations.
Latent Loyalty (Favorable View & Low Patronage): I like nVidia video cards, but I don't buy them a lot, mainly because I don't need to.
Spurious Loyalty (Non-Favorable View & High Patronage): I dislike Apple, the iPod, and iTunes, but the time and effort it would take me to convert thousands of AAC files to MP3s makes me keep buying them. (Also applicable to monopolies, like old school Ma Bell.)
Loyalty: (Favorable View & High Patronage): I would say I'm pretty loyal to Nintendo products.

Really, the sweet spot for any company is pure loyalty, because not only will consumers purchase your products often, but when people are truly loyal, they will actually go out of their way to recommend you to their friends. It is a good day when a company achieves loyalty.

And I think a company has earned mine.

The company is called "Stranded." I've mentioned them before; I think they may be a branch of Target (to whom I also have high loyalty), because that seems to be the only place that carries them.

Why do I like them? A few reasons.

1. The shirts are soooo comfortable. I don't know what they do to the cotton, but they're so soft and nice, it's like you're wearing nothing at all. Yes, they're a bit on the thin side as far as shirts go, but that's the price you pay for comfort. (And it's not like they're transluscent or anything.)

2. The designs are badass yet classy. One of the main problem I see with a lot of graphic tees nowadays is that they are either funny and immature, or badass yet gang-member-making-you-look-like-one. Stranded tees are definitely, while definitely having a fierce side to them, still have an old-world style to them, which makes them seem quite classy. Just look at some of their shirts. They can make a koi fish look cool. That's pretty good.

3. They make crow shirts. I loves me some crow shirts. In fact, I just purchased my newest crow shirt when I was at Target this past weekend, prompting me to realize that I had become loyal. So, let's take a look at my crow shirts, shall we?

Oh, you'll notice I'm wearing my hat in all of these. No real reason. I just think the hat goes well with crow shirts.

If I'm not mistaken, this was my first crow shirt. Unfortuantely, it's dark-on-dark style make it had to see any crows on said crow shirt.

Here's a close-up of that las crow shirt, so you can better see the crows (and don't try to tell me that they're ravens. Even if they were, ravens are just a subspecies of crow).

Here's me with a brown crow shirt and a surprised look. Grandmother, what big eyes I have!

I really like this one. It has such a sense of transcendence about it. Plus, save for droppings and/or other apocalypse harbingers, you have to admit that it would be pretty cool to see a murder of crows descend from the clouds.

This is the crow shirt that I just purchased. Three interesting notes. First, it's a collared shirt, which I haven't worn (barring formal shirts) since high school. Second, this is actually a size small. A relatively big small, but a small nonetheless, so that felt cool. Third, you have no idea how I literally stopped the cart I was pushing around when I saw this in Target and said aloud "Crow shirt!" It was love at first sight.

Here's a closeup.

You may notice that three out of four of these crow shirts also feature trees (two of which are dead, one of which has a few scant leaves). Maybe this means I don't enjoy crow shirts, but rather dead tree shirts. Or perhaps this love of crow shirts is a throwback to my childhood, during which I would always since about three chartreuse buzzards sitting in a dead tree...except with crows...y'know, instead of buzzards...*cough*

Takeaway: I am now loyal to Stranded tees (go to Target and buy them!) and I've used "crow shirt" in this post 15 times.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Why was I not told of this? I also love crow shirts! Now I need to get to Target...

Anonymous said...

I'm right there with you. Those are awesome. Do they have them for girls. It wouldn't be fair if they didn't. Sexist, you know. Very very cool.

Anonymous said...

Product placement, my friend? Can I make sure you're not on Stranded's or Target's payroll now? Nah, I have brand loyalty too, despite my "commie" reputation (we all remember Leninaide, right?!)

Actually, I can agree with you on the latent loyalty, I too am an nVidia fan, even though now they are rivals with AMD since AMD owns ATi and I like AMD so I can stick it to Intel. As for your Apple conundrum, you can use a program like Nero to convert AACs to MP3s pretty easily (though I'm finding out that Nero's program code is not all that great - registry errors ahoy.) But why would you want to do that anyways, AAC is far superior to MP3 in sound quality (better sound-to-compression ratios.) Even Apple's low-to-medium quality, 192kbit/sec, DMR-infested AACs should be comparable with 256 MP3s and sound much better than a 192 mp3 (almost all of my m4as and mp4s come from mi padre's or my CD collection, so I can control the compression rate. I usually encode at 400 kbits/sec - large files, much better sound, which matters when you have Klipsch speakers.) Plus, it shouldn't be hard to find other media players that play AAC (my preferred media player, Foobar2000 does M4A, audio MP4 and raw AAC, and plus, it's freeware!)

As for Nintendo, although my demand for video game platforms has dwindled, Nintendo has earned my respect. Sony made a good system and a good product with the PS1 and PS2, but with the PS3, it was too high priced and too its marketing didn't appeal to me. As for the X Box 360, well, Microsoft is Microsoft - the product is pretty good, but within limited games with pretty low replay value (unless you do multiplayer) and the disturbing idea of making Bill Gates richer and Steven Ballmer stronger makes the Wii much more palatable.

-Comrade Chavez