October 16th, 2016 - Brand

Confessions of a brand addict

There are two kinds of women in this world: those who can cheat on their hairdresser and those who can’t.

I can’t. Not on my hairdresser, my butcher, my wine store, my favourite restaurants.

Now don’t get me wrong, if I’m looking for a new ‘supplier’, I have no problem dating. I’ll test out hairdressers, dentists, or cleaning ladies until I’m comfortable.

And to be clear, I’m pretty high maintenance so that testing process can be excruciating and time consuming for me.

I’m not happy with ‘adequate’, ‘fine’, or ‘ok’. As my husband likes to say, “Don’t give me fountains, I need waterfalls.’

But once I find those waterfalls – superior service, high quality product, fabulous ambiance, perfect packaging – I’m sold.

I’m fiercely loyal. I become an addict, an ambassador. And if the brand is really good, I’m an evangelist.

But lately, I’ve found myself in brand relationships where I’m feeling more captive than content. And I’m looking enviously at my girlfriends who aren’t brand slaves, who happily cheat on their hairdressers.

Frankly, I don’t think they are any happier playing the field. I think the terrible economy is putting stress on companies, consultants and service providers. Trying to make ends meet, suppliers are taking short cuts that compromise their brands and make their customers unhappy.

I don’t like being unhappy, and I certainly don’t like feeling captive to a brand that is not living up to its promise. So I won’t be blindly loyal, but I’m also not a cheater.

I have decided to treat my brand relationships like I would a friendship. It’s time for a heart to heart, to find out what’s behind the broken promises.

But I think I’m in the minority. Most will cheat or break ties completely, leaving companies scratching their heads, trying to stop the hemorrhaging and likely making more bad brand decisions in the process.

Is the downturn affecting your business? If so, think carefully before making big moves that could damage your brand and push your loyal customers out the door.

Disclaimer: No hair stylist relationships have been harmed in the writing of this blog. I remain an evangelist of the fabulous Trina Arnett @jeromesalon.

With gratitude,

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Founder, Blackcoffee Studio

Over the course of 15+ years, Shannon has grown Blackcoffee Studio out of a love for building brands and reputations. She serves up Blackcoffee as a morning ritual while caffeinating clients and readers on the regular. You can find her at www.BlackcoffeeStudio.com


Blackcoffee Studio

Blackcoffee is a premium brand development agency, offering luxury brand experience to clients at home in Calgary, Canada and around the globe. Brands create experience, set you apart from the competition and drive growth. Anyone can bulid a business but only the exceptional can create a brand. Are you ready?

Shannon Larkins

Shannon Larkins

Hi I’m Shannon, founder of Blackcoffee Studio. A former reporter, spin doctor and politico, I now focus on using my powers for good.

I create mighty brands for clients and share their stories with the world. I’m also rather addicted to my nutty family, dogs with pushed in faces, Mexico and of course coffee … black.