Your favorite brand

Just wondering what everyones favorite brand right now is?

Is there a company that you feel that has been hitting homeruns lately?

M&M’s… :slight_smile: just kidding. Coke i feel has done a great job through out the years with not only staying relevant while keeping to their brand equities. I know this one that may be cliché but they truly are best in class.

J

I’m not even sure how to answer this Emmanuel? Homeruns in terms of what? Marketplace success? Product innovation? Astounding product design? Manufacturing prowess? Brand building? All of the above? In any category.

Funny Justin that you would pick Coke. What product homeruns have they had? I may be blind to it. Marketing I give them their due.

I picked coke on pure consistency basis. They have done a great job of being consistent to their brand heritage whie continually remaining relenvent. The same argument can be made from you alma mater Nike. All iconic.

I do agree that this is a bit of an open question which mean many things to many people.

J

I’m not even sure how to answer this Emmanuel? Homeruns in terms of what? Marketplace success? Product innovation? Astounding product design? Manufacturing prowess? Brand building? All of the above? In any category.

With that criterion in mind I can say that after 40 years of continuous ownership and use, BMW is, no longer my favorite motorcycle brand. Beginning in 1923, the marque built it’s reputation on simplicity, durability, and reliability; long distance, trouble-free, touring was the niche fulfilled by these bikes. The Russians even copied the design for military use (Ural) during WWII. These characteristics evaporated overnight in 1996 when the last two-cylinder, push-rod activated, 2-valve, air-cooled, points-and-condenser ignition, boxer left the Spandau factory. And sadly, the ability for an owner, of average mechanical aptitude, to maintain his/her motorcycle on the open road left with it.

Responding to higher “performance” mandated by competition from the Japanese manufacturers in the 1980s (and on no small account of the U.S. EPA), BMW began replacing the boxer with an ever expanding field of increasingly complex engine configurations with electronically controlled fuel and ignition systems requiring specialized training and equipment to maintain them. Gone were the days of the extensive tool kit (included with each motorcycle) being sufficient to maintain the machine. Break down in the middle of the night on one of these later models and any hope of getting back on the road will depend on your cellphone, and have to wait until the machine can be delivered to a dealer.


THAT SAID … BMW still maintains production of core parts for the older models; engine, transmission, ignition, rubber components, etc., so these old machines will be around for a long time after I’m done with mine.

On the topic of a brand changing its ‘tune’ for market share and general appeal, I couldn’t agree more about BMW. They’ve shifted their basic tenets far away from what appealed to you and I, Lew.

My newest BMW is a 2006 and I won’t buy a newer one…not just because they’re getting harder to work on yourself but also because they’ve fallen ill to the sickness of marketing oneupsmanship and it’s going to hurt them long-term. Several years ago, BMW realized they had to compete with their rival brands in terms of service savings for the customer, so they rolled out the 4 year maintenance program. That very month, BMW all of a sudden changed the frequency intervals for servicing fluids, filters, etc and capped their long term warranty packages (since they know what’s now going to happen as their cars go past 100K miles…). They acknowledge there was no sudden breakthrough in fluid viscosity life nor in filtering products, they simple had to compete - at the long term detriment of their products. Add to that their slow shift away from true manual transmissions, the upcoming i3 being FWD…not good.

The flip side is that their market share is higher than ever, so everything I wrote above means nothing. Oh well.

Net profit as well.

I don’t know if I have a “favorite”. It’s like having a favorite color, it doesn’t mean much to me.

I can be brand loyal. The brand has an intrinsic value that can overcome a difference with a competing brand. For example, when shopping for a bicycle, I’ll always take a look at the competing Cinelli even though it is likely to be on the higher end of cost.

Thinking about it, there may be only a handful where I will make that choice. Coke or Pepsi? Don’t care about brand, Pepsi is to sweet for me.

I used to be brand loyal to Kohler. Did their factory tour, really cool. Lived in the state. Made a great product. Pillow Talk was the coolest faucet.

But last year I bought a bathroom faucet from them. They provided a non-standard nut (neither English nor metric, maybe Whitworth, who knows) to secure the faucet to the counter top. It also has rounded corners, for what friggin’ reason is still a mystery to me. Adjustable wrench won’t work, no room under the counter. Contacted their “service” department for the thread size or a tool to use. Didn’t answer my question. Another email then was sent. Their “technical” department offered to make a “custom” standard nut that a box wrench would work. They sent me the exact same nut that is included in the first place, non-standard with rounded corners. I sent that to the CEO. Got a call from a secretary apologizing for their incompetence. 6 weeks after purchase, I finally got a nut I could actually use.

Needless to say, I did not have my sink out for 6 weeks. I bought a different faucet and put it in without 6 weeks of hassle. Kohler is still probably selling faucets with a non-standard nut with rounded corners. I’d never know though.

Red Bull can do no wrong these days (aside from rotting teen’s teeth). They seem to be everywhere, can authentically reach into many occasions and lifestyles, and are as high profile as you can get without actually sponsoring a country. Space jump and F-1 racing, brought to you by a soft drink. They have stumbled a little on actual product innovation (their cola flopped, the new flavors just launched), but have financed the right things to keep building their brand.

Oakley.

It was ment to be a tad bit opened ended. Just wanted to see what brands/companies everyone had there eyes on recently. Could be product innovation, marketing, manufacturing prowess. Just a company you think it doing something right and a leading example in that category.


For me Nike has been on a roll lately especially with their recent materials innovations. Flywire, Hyperfuse, Fly-nit, Wovens, etc.
Theyve been doing it for ages though. (Zoom air, Foamposites, etc) But whats crazy to me is that the consumer has started to accept synthetics as a high end perfromance shoe. I remember growing up no-one wanted a “plastic” pair of soccer cleats. It was full-grain leather or bust. Now kids are begging for these synthetic shoes. Which Im guessing have higher profit margins then their leather counterparts. Are these synthetic cleats actually better or is it marketing kicking in, maybe both?

They have also been really pushing their marketing/brand appeal efforts. I remember during college football season everyone was looking at the Oregon Ducks. Seeing what they would be wearing at their next game. Oregon is swaying college recruit with their gear, a recruiting technique that I don’t think has been done before.

They were also one of the first to really strike it big in wearable tech with the Fuel band.

Redbull - I agree. Great promotions and brand exposure. Space Jump was crazy, seemingly popped up over night. Went to a MotoGP race they sponsored recently too. They are becoming synonymous with action and extreme sports. Go Pro is floating in this category as well.

I’d have to agree with Red Bull from a brand awareness perspective. They are really pushing the limits of extreme sports, sponsor the best of the best and I can’t get past the fact their formula 1 team is the best even among the likes of Ferrari, mclaren and Mercedes. I would like to see them expand their actual product line beyond energy drinks though, perhaps a consumer product.

Nixon watches

I was just going to say Nixon. They are doing a good job.

IKEA: bringing nice design to the masses at a reasonable price. You know you aren’t getting an heirloom piece. They serve immediate purposes like products. Nice naming convention makes it fun and a little giggly weird.

Porsche. Amazingly they made their line extensions without breaking the brand. Aston Martin keeps the product line tight with a nice consistent language.

Bell & Ross. Completely invented brand.

Rolex. Remains a luxury standard ina world where the watch is no longer even needed.

I could go on but I don’t have a favorite brand. I’m not really brand loyal despite getting 2 consecutive Audi’s. I didn’t get the S5 because it was an Audi, I got it because it was the right product choice for me. If it was a Hyundai would I have bought it? I can’t say. If it was a BMW or MB I would have.

Oakley? Interesting. Other than some randomly nice products I feel like they are continually 5 years behind or trying too hard.
Surprised by all of the consumable mentions like Redbull and Coke. Of course all they trade on is brand, but favorite?

No mention of Apple. Too cliche? No longer the darling? Design language is tight, well executed, and aspirational. Products perform well. Branding is consistent and well policed. Retail experience is top of category in CE… sure seems like they would be over some of the others mentioned.

I do not have a favourite brand anymore as most companies
are in a process of sacrificing their destinctive values and features
on the altars of globalisation while trying to cater to tastes all around
the globe.

At the moment I am a serial buyer of Samsung, Vokswagen and Ikea products,
but none of those give me a touchy feeling in the stomach…

What I was a fan of:

CITROEN


ALFA ROMEO

Being a child of the 70ies the future has become a constant disappointment.

mo-i

Even pairing the words ‘favorite + brand’ feels weird. Its like those crazy people who buy every Hello Kitty thing that exists and even paint their Veyron with Hello Kitty. It suggests that a brand seriously informs a lifestyle to the occlusion of all other brands.

I had four VW’s plus a A3 and VW’s still not a favorite brand - I liked the cars and what they did. The brand’s advertising and image (at least in the US) for VW was terrible, cutesy, apologetic.

Red Bull’s brand influence and potency suggests they won’t have ill-considered missteps into new product very often.

Claiming ‘Apple’ would probably be cliche on a design focused website, but if I had to have a favorite they would probably be up there.

I don’t know if I have a “favorite” brand, more that there are certain brands that align with my aesthetic or lifestyle preferences, or I respect out of consistency of image, branding, product.

Nike. I’ve been a Nike guys since I was a kid and got my first Air Trainers (white/grey/flo.green).

Apple. Duh.

Old Dieter era BrAun.

BMW, though prefer older style. Don’t have a problem with Bangle-era, but lately haven’t felt connected to the product or branding since leaving the Ultimate Driving Machine tagline and pitch.

Rapha. Not a cyclist, but everything they do is super solid from graphics to product.

Eames. Like their consistency and approach in all things product, graphics, film.

Samsung. Lately has been kicking it in product (consumer, non-cell phone, ie. cameras, TVs, etc.).

McSweeny’s books. Always continues to surprise in content, marketing, etc. Applaud keeping the unique vibe and still staying niche.

R

The Rapha stuff is supper nice. They had a great retail spot in SF not far from where I used to live. Awesome photography, espresso station inside, vintage Citroen van parked out front with Rapha graphics. Super nice.
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I’ve become a bit enamoured with Revo. Their Abyss sunglasses are hands down the best I’ve owned.

Oakley has gone too “Predator” for me…and completely lost me with their Olympic product placement of those asinine over the top of the head glasses 8 years ago or so.

I like Microsoft’s brand trajectory lately. New logo, nice branding. Hopefully the Desktop/Office UI team doesn’t ruin the application of Windows Phone. Nokia to go along with that, although the 920 isn’t quite as nice as the 900/800. Hopefully the next flagship keeps refining that same nice ID direction.