Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Brand loyalty when going overseas

This time I want to talk about an issue that might help people moving countries or even just going for a long trip overseas. It's a small issue but can be very annoying.

Which brands are you loyal to? And don't tell me you have none. 

We all have our favourite and much loved brands and products. It can be something as cheap as shampoo or something as expensive as a car. But even if a product is cheap and the financial risk or switching brands is low, the emotional risk can be really high. 

Well, maybe you're not truly loyal to any brand or product, but admit it, switching from a product that works well for you now and looking for the next best thing is just tiresome. Well, you might have to.

You might not find all your favourite brands and/or products in the new place and for highly brand loyal people it can be stressful. For the less loyal of us it can be just annoying. You might think that nowadays, with international brands and online stores, it's not a real problem but that's not necessarily true especially with disposable and everyday products like food and toiletries.

Before I moved to Australia, I had been living in Israel for almost 15 years so you can't really blame me for being attached to a fair few products. I was (and still am actually) a huge fan of Milky, Krembo and Cervelat salami (made of beef). Milky and Krembo are unique to Israel and Cervelat elsewhere in the world is make of pork, which I don't eat. I was also happy with my toiletries and was annoyed at the idea of looking for alternatives. Also let me tell you something girls (guys, just skip to the next paragraph), all the women hygiene stuff in Australia sucks big time! 

Coming to the USA from Australia wan't such an issue for me in regards to brand loyalty. I was aware of the availability of almost anything here and was actually eager to try new brands and products, especially those I heard about but couldn't get in Aus. 

So here are some tips to those going overseas to live or to travel for a while: 
- Research. Think of the brands and products you are attached to and see if they are available in the country of destination.
- If you find out that the products are available in the other country, great, just make sure they are affordable and accessible for you. Driving 3 hours to buy your favourite bread doesn't count.
- If the products aren't available, first of all be open minded. Try something else, you might end up liking it better. 
- For products you can't find a substitute to and you need to buy only like once a year, order them online. 
- Watch ads. It can be frustrating to walk into your new local store and find long shelves of unfamiliar brands. By watching ads on TV and other media you'll get an idea of what are the brands available and what they stand for.
- And finally, you might find that your favourite products at the new country just aren't the same or don't suite you anymore. You probably don't image it so don't be stubborn and try something else. 

Hope it helps to at least some of my blog readers. Also, I'd love to hear about your experiences with brand loyalty in a different country.


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