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Blog: Fanboyism and Brand Loyalty

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Found an interesting blog post about Fanboyism and Brand Loyalty on forums, which goes into a little of the psychology behind some of the things we see mentioned here, such as justifying purchases.




In experiments at Baylor University where people were given Coke and Pepsi in unmarked cups and then hooked up to a brain scanner, the device clearly showed a certain number of them preferred Pepsi while tasting it.

When those people were told they were drinking Pepsi, a fraction of them, the ones who had enjoyed Coke all their lives, did something unexpected. The scanner showed their brains scrambling the pleasure signals, dampening them. They then told the experimenter afterward they had preferred Coke in the taste tests.

They lied, but in their subjective experiences of the situation, they didn’t. They really did feel like they preferred Coke after it was all over, and they altered their memories to match their emotions.

They had been branded somewhere in the past and were loyal to Coke. Even if they actually enjoyed Pepsi more, huge mental constructs prevented them from admitting it, even to themselves.


It's an interesting topic for me, as I have long had an interest in self-awareness and the things that affect my thinking.  Directly relating to the topic though, I've long had a bias towards, say, Apple computers, but I'd say now I'm more aware of it and it doesn't block me from seeing the point of view of other people, such as people who are very proficient at building Windows PCs.


On Head-fi, there seems to be a considerable and arguably fanboy-driven "gear-fi" aspect to ownership, especially with portable rigs, leading to some criticism of the large amounts of money people invest into them, regardless of the relatively poor value of them (at least until such IEMs as the JH-13s came along).  As well, concepts espoused in the Sound Science forum are not immune to this kind of things, as there are many fanboys that argue vehemently in some debates.  The irony of that is, where some people are quick to point to ways that people can be fooled into thinking they can hear things that aren't there, they too forget that they are just as susceptible to fooling themselves in any of a myriad of ways and will happily manipulate facts, as fanboys do, to justify their opinions.

post #2 of 45

Very interesting read. Thanks :)


However I have to say that the $800 DAP didn't impress me LOL.

post #3 of 45

lol, the guy in one of the article's pictures has a Zune tattoo


On a more serious note, I found it an interesting read. In the past I've felt the need to justify my purchases, even ones I ended up neglecting in the long run out of embarrassment (i.e. Bose headphones).

Edited by usf09 - 6/29/10 at 3:41am
post #4 of 45

Pretty self-evident stuff in there, but always an important topic for self-reflection every now and then.  I wish people would take a step back and examine their fanboyism every now and then. 















post #5 of 45

Yeah, I steer clear of the Pseudosciences Forum these days.  Too narrow minded, focused on a single goal testing without regards to other parameters.












...I don't care if Quaker Oats measure and cook faster, I still prefer the old school McCann's Irish Steel Cut Oats!

post #6 of 45
That was eye-opening. I'm going to go buy a Triport tomorrow just to check my self-biases.
post #7 of 45

It's just a great idea to check your self honesty in general. It's very useful for political opinions as well, or academia.

Edited by Ypoknons - 6/29/10 at 5:52am
post #8 of 45
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by usf09 View Post

lol, the guy in one of the article's pictures has a Zune tattoo


On a more serious note, I found it an interesting read. In the past I've felt the need to justify my purchases, even ones I ended up neglecting in the long run out of embarrassment (i.e. Bose headphones).

You've never seen that guy before? He was all over the news after the Zune came out.


Interestingly, I was thinking the other day about some events in my past.  I used to be a member of a martial arts club, which split from the national body.  My instructor fairly demonised the national body and its instructors, and to this day I've looked towards them poorly.  However, recently one of them was appointed to the highest rank possible for a foreigner.  I'm sure he can't be as bad as my instructor suggests if the head international dojo in Japan graded him, but then they did appoint a famous, and rather idiotic foreigner to the same rank in the past.  However, I have been wondering if, for the reasons stated in this article, I have an unreasonable bias against the guy.

post #9 of 45



Never saw that guy before...I can't imagine being so dedicated to a DAP that I would feel the need to forever mark my body with a pink and orange logo...


Though I can now see some of the s:flo2 and HM801 guys doing it lol......

post #10 of 45

Interesting thread...


  1. Placed a pre-order for an iPad before I ever touched one
  2. Placed a pre-order for an iPhone 4 before I ever touched one
  3. Placed a pre-order for the JH-3A one day before Can Jam 2010, which allowed me to briefly audit the prototype there


All of these actions precipitated by my extremely high personal satisfaction with both Apple and JHA products I have previously purchased in the past after careful research and deliberation.  I have not considered any competing products (in the case of the iPad and the JH-3A there were none).


Am I now considered an Apple and JHA fanboy?  Really, I'm curious.

post #11 of 45

Do you see a decrease in your enjoyment of competitors' products? Do you believe that you can analyze, say, the Evo 4G or the Westone ES5, with the same objectiveness you evaluate Apple and JH Audio products?

post #12 of 45

A good question.  Interestingly I have played with an Evo 4G just the other day.  It has some nice features, but the overall feel, design and touchscreen sensitivity/accuracy is far below of the iPhone 4, perhaps even the 3GS.  I did like the integrated mobile hotspot feature, even though it requires that you have it plugged into a laptop or external power source to avoid a full battery discharge within an hour on a 4G connection.


I haven't heard the ES5 yet, so I can't answer that part.  If another vendor would come out with a markedly superior product with similar level of support I have experienced with either of these two companies, I believe that it would warrant serious consideration on my part.  

post #13 of 45

Fanboyism resulted in an expensive mistake for me. Not audio-related but...


I was a dedicated VW owner for many years (vintage air-cooled, mid-80s water-cooled - including two new cars). When the time came for a new car ca. 1999, we naturally had to have another one. We purchased a new generation VW Golf (IV platform for those of you that follow these things) and it was the worst consumer product I have ever purchased. Bar none. We stuck with this dreadful vehicle (countless warranty repairs, recalls, warranty extensions on defective parts, owner class-action suits, Consumer Reports rated as a used vehicle to avoid) for nearly ten years as per our usual plan (at least 10 years per new vehicle purchased). We were finally glad to see it go.


Products from any manufacturer (I've had a few Apple products that were pigs as well - an early laptop, the first digital camera, an early all in one model (Performa?) and one of those awful rebadged Canon printers) are now suspect until I learn from the experience of others. Case in point: I've was interested in the clamshell iBook, but waited until several were purchased at my job. I asked about it around the office, spent some time with it over a few months and it seemed reliable. So I bought one and 10 years later, I still use it.


I don't need to be the first in line.


My iPhone 3GS was stolen from my office last Friday. I hemmed and hawed whether I should replace it with another 3GS or wait a week or two for the next best thing - the 4G. After a long, semi-confidential chat with an AT&T customer service rep who spent quality time with the 4G, I stuck with the 3GS. It's reliable and does what I need it to do.

Edited by nycbone - 6/29/10 at 4:41pm
post #14 of 45

This was an interesting read..that's for sure :)


@warp08: I don't really think doing just that automatically means you are a fanboy of those companies. It could simply mean you enjoy your purchases and because of your previous dealings with them it gives you faith in spending your money without seeing or trying them our beforehand.


Now if the case happened where you are seriously unable to think of another product being able to match or exceed your products or are unable to try to be as subjective as you can..or if you get angry that someone who has one of those products doesn't like it and you disregard their comments or anything similar to that :)

post #15 of 45
Thread Starter 

Buying rubbish and not admitting that what you bought was crap is a good example of what's being talked about here.  I've seen the opposite though, where someone bought the unlucky 1-out-of-100 dog machine with all the problems, and refused the touch the brand at all with subsequent purchases.  I used to say to these people, "You are what I call a 'cursed customer' that gets the one, screwed machine." and would do my best to simply replace it.


I've got to say that I've had good luck purchasing headphones without hearing them.  I DO choose badly when it comes to gear that requires waiting though.  So far, I've bought the HD-800s, Symphones Magnums, Grado HF-2s and am now waiting for LCD-2s. I'm now up to a year of waiting collectively for these items, probably more considering how some overlapped.  In the end, I sold the HF-2s, but I don't, overall, consider them a bad purchase as they are very good, just everything else I've bought was better.

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