I wish brand loyalty was more of a thing

Jan 7, 2023

In a previous job I worked for an agency who were big on helping clients to develop brand loyalty. Understandably, the main driver for brand loyalty for businesses most of the time is a bigger market share and more profit, but from a customer side I've been mulling over how brand loyalty can actually enrich our lives as well.

A symbol of aspiration

Recently, my wife and I stayed at the Celtic Manor for a night to have a babymoon. We've stayed a couple of times before for short stays and have absolutely loved it. For Wales, the Celtic Manor is pretty unique in its size and quality (although it has diminished a bit in recent years), and the story of how it came to be and the man behind it is quite inspirational.

The manor used to be a maternity hospital where Terry Matthews was born. Terry started his career in electronics and after a failed start in entrepenurship, successfully started a tech consultancy. While he made his fortune in Canada he came back to Wales to buy the hospital where he was born when it closed and redevelop it into a 5* resort that has seen it host the 2010 Ryder Cup and the 2014 NATO Summit.

Fun fact: Terry Matthews was Wales' first billionare

Celtic Manor (now, Celtic Collection) is a brand that I resonate with and like to support. It represents the capability of Welsh born, welsh educated people to become a success and also for Wales to be a host on the international stage and not just England's poor relation.

It's brands like Celtic Collection that I wish we had more of, success stories of local people now giving back to their community through jobs and ammenities. I don't for a minute doubt that Terry Matthew's primary drive was investment to further his career, that's how business works but I also admire his desire to uplift Wales. The Alacrity Foundation that Terry is also involved in is a startup incubator for graduates in Wales, another example of business supporting thsoe around them.

A way to make a difference

Admittedly, I don't know much about the practices of Patagonia but on the surface they seem to be walking the talk. Donating 1% of their profits every year, working towards a circular economy and now the transferring of Patagonia to a trust to better distribute profits towards combating climate change.

While I don't own any Patagonia products and likely won't for a while (I'd love to be more outdoorsy but haven't yet, besides, I love Finisterre which is more local) I can admire the activism of the brand.

I want brand loyalty to be more about purpose than product

In a world with rampant consumerism, choosing what we buy and services we pay for is more important. For me, brands that go deeper than "making a profit" are more worthy of my wallet, even if they're more expensive.