Do we choose to what and whom we are loyal? It’s a word I see often, its mentioned as part of my favourite sports team crest, fans bring it up often in online forums especially when disagreeing with someone’s point of view. Why are we, as fans loyal to a single sporting team, how and why did we choose the team and why is it wrong if we are to change teams later on, players change teams frequently but I think its fair to say that society dictates that fans cannot. What is it about a certain team that draws you in and holds your loyalty? Is it the club ethos? In my case I would say no, I started following my team when I was introduced to the sport at the age of about 12, its not a thought that would have hit me back then. Is it just because your friend likes that team and takes you along to your first game so you go along with it, this possibly played a part with me, however my brother was with us too and he turned out to be a supporter of my team’s (mine?) biggest rival (he’s always been a bit odd). Is it because you like the style of play? Players and coaches come and go, even owners sell up and move on which surely brings about big changes. Is it on a more primal level where you just feel you belong? I believe this has a lot to do with it. We are animals after all. We get a feeling about something, a sense of acceptance and belonging and we stick with it. The same can be said about other areas of our lives, we have favourite pubs and I know people who have a favourite holiday destination and return there time and time again.
I have recently come to realise that I am or at least have been loyal to several brands. I have used the same drums, cymbals, heads and sticks for many years. I have only ever bought one make of cymbals and would not seriously consider spending my hard-earned money on any other, similarly, I’ve always used the same brand of drums. I bought a different make once but absolutely hated the sound, I’ve played most of the major brands as I don’t always get to play my kit at gigs but again, I know where I’ll be spending my money. Now, the point of what got me thinking about this subject. Drum Heads (or skins if you prefer) I have again, used the same make of heads since I started playing but I bought some a couple of weeks ago and they appear to be sub-standard. They pitted very easily and have not displayed their usual tuning range and I feel severely let down. I’ve been through a range of emotions too, weirdly. Why do I feel like this, it feels like the end of a relationship. I’ve tried to reason with myself that it was just an unlucky batch, I used nylon tips instead of wood, it’s not you – it’s me, but it isn’t. It’s definitely them. I’ve had to give myself a talking to in order to buy a different brand and now that I have, I feel strangely liberated.
Was I stubbornly holding on to some weird sense of loyalty to a brand? Its what I’ve always bought so I’ll keep on doing it. Why do I do that? Is it a common human trait or is it brand psychology? I’d love your insights and experiences on this subject. What do you buy regularly that you can’t see yourself going to a competitor for?