Recently, consumers partook in one of the largest shopping days in the country: Black Friday. As early as Thanksgiving afternoon, people were in line outside their favorite stores in an attempt to get some of the deals being offered.

These ranged from deals in clothing stores to electronic stores, and it is a time many people buy holiday gifts for their friends and family. Many competing brands try and offer the best deals on their products in an effort to sell their products. This is made far easier by existing customer bias. Once companies have people interested in a product (such as the functionality of a Mac or PC, depending on which each customer prefers) it tends to be easier to market a product to them.

In a survey of 20 students around Keene State College campus, 18 out of 20 said they are likely to have their next computer be the same brand as the computer they have now. The same students were then asked if they paid more attention to an ad if it was for a brand of product they prefer (for example Pepsi vs. Coke, or Apple vs. Microsoft).

Out of the 20 students, 13 said they focus more on an ad when it is a product they have a preference for. While a 65 percent rate of confirmation isn’t enough to say that without a doubt people pay more attention to ads, it does raise curiosity if companies formulate their ad campaigns in ways that will appeal to existing customers. Another place I gained a glimpse into how people align themselves with a company was this summer while working at Best Buy. I would constantly have customers telling me, as they were buying products, “I switched from (Brand A) to (Brand B) a while ago and wouldn’t even consider going back to anything from (Brand A), even though I had (Brand A) for years.”

It was interesting, because it seemed these customers had mentally ordered the things they needed not by how they functioned or which brand made the best of the specific product they needed, but by which brand was making the product they wanted. This is of course not to say that every customer was the same. Of course there would be some customers who would come up to the register with a new Dell laptop, the Apple Airport Express internet modem, and a Logitech mouse. However, it was far more common to see customers come up with a new Apple MacBook, the Apple Airport Express, and the Apple Magic Mouse. Even though the Logitech mouse would likely function just as well as the magic mouse, people would often put the brands together and just buy straight Apple (Or Dell/Acer/etc) products.

I will be the first to admit that I have fallen into the same situation as many other consumers. I bought my first iPod when I was going into seventh grade, and have had an iPod since then. The thought of buying a Zune (Microsoft’s portable MP3 player) had never even occurred to me.

I also got a MacBook right before getting to college. Even though this was the first Apple computer I ever had, I completely loved it and if possible will very likely stick to buying Apple computers from now on. Whenever I am watching television and commercials come on, I am far more likely to actually listen and pay attention to any advertisement for Apple products than I am for any product that runs on Microsoft’s Windows platform.

Despite not being completely knowledgeable about all the details of the new Windows “Surface” tablet, if I was going to buy a tablet I would automatically look at an iPad first, and likely buy one. This isn’t because the iPad is confirmed to be that much better of a product, but because in my mind I have already made the assumption the Apple product is better based on what I currently own.


David Padrazo can be contacted at

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