The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


OK … so the posts so far this week have been pretty serious – at least by my standards – so to make sure no one thinks this is going to become the norm [and let’s face it, no one thinks that] I thought I’d end the week on a low.

Near my office is a cafe.

It’s very similar to Jamaica Blue, the cafe I used to go to daily when I was at Wieden+Kennedy … in so much as it sells food that looks OK but basically tastes like boiling hot cardboard and – despite me going in there every day, eating the same thing every day – the staff never remember what I have and have all the warmth of a limp salad.

You may be wondering why I go in there then?

And the answer is because I’m lazy and pathetic.

However there are 2 other reasons … reasons that even the mighty shite that was Jamaica Blue couldn’t muster.

One is that they charge me a different amount for the same thing every single day.


It’s not a huge amount different, but it’s different and the only reason I don’t tell them is that I get quite excited wondering what it will be each day.

Not only that, it’s still not as shit as my last week at Wieden, when I went into Jamaica Blue and discovered that they had been overcharging me for my breakfast for 7 years.


But the other reason is that my local London cafe has food combinations that even the weirdest experience in China couldn’t match. And I’m talking about a country that once put a piece of broccoli on some ice cream as they couldn’t find a leaf of mint.

What am I talking about?

I’m talking about this …



Not only is it the most pointless, tasteless accompaniment to the delicious carbs of pasta and cheese … you have to wonder who the hell would want it as a tasteless accompaniment to the delicious carbs of pasta and cheese.

Maybe it’s like my old Diet Tango campaign … created to offset the guilt of your bad food weaknesses … but surely, if that’s the case, they could have offered something more comprehensive.

A whole salad perhaps?

Whatever the reasons, the fact is that regardless what prices they charge … whatever mouth-melting temperature they serve their food at … whatever alternative cardboard simulation they have on display … I’ll still find myself going in there, handing them my money and then hating myself for it while also feeling strangely comforted by it all.

Which means the post I wrote about brand loyalty a while back missed one vital characteristic.

Because while I stated that true brand loyalty is when you have an almost irrational connection to a brand so you do whatever you can to have it or be associated with it [regardless of cost, access or competition] there is an alternative situation when someone feels they are not worthy of having something decent so actively make choices to choose things they don’t really like or value because they feel that is all they deserve.

Let’s call this self spite loyalty … and given my love of Jamaica Blue, Birkenstocks, Queen and countless other rubbish things, I seem to have it in droves.

Happy weekend.

18 Comments so far
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You need help on so many levels.

Comment by Bazza

Tell me something I don’t know. Something that isn’t pointed out to me on a daily basis. Ha.

Comment by Rob

How have you made your terrible food choices a lesson for building brand loyalty? I’m going to have to read this again to see where the pivot happened.

Comment by Pete

youre just numb to his planner bullshit. its a fucking divine state.

Comment by andy@cynic

Please don’t claim your laziness and bad taste is brand loyalty. You could bring the whole industry down.

Comment by George

He did introduce a new rationale for brand loyalty. One that no brand really wants to be associated with regardless how many fans it gives them.

Comment by Pete

It’s not that new. Some brands have been profiting from selling fear and low self esteem for years – I’m just saying it may have manifested into some weird kind of loyalty. A new variety of Stockholm syndrome.

Comment by Rob

You’ve just explained why I still keep coming to this blog.

I don’t like it. I know I don’t deserve it. I’m suffering from an illness caused by you. You’ll be hearing from my lawyers.

Comment by Bazza

Broccoli impersonating mint. Watercress pasta. Boiling hot cardboard. You won’t win Masterchef with that, unless it is a very unique episode.

Comment by George

The eat like Nottingham edition.

Comment by Pete

Even Nottingham doesn’t have tastes that bad.

Comment by Bazza

thats what you fucking think.

Comment by andy@cynic

I would prefer to think of the loyalty you express in terms of food retailer as one being driven by your laziness. The other possibility suggested is too sad for me to contemplate, though I do think there may be something there. Tragically.

Comment by Lee Hill

Maybe it’s not for the reasons I go to questionable food establishments and maybe it’s not a conscious decision by (all) brands, categories or people, but I think there is something in it. Low self esteem keeps people buying afterall. It’s the one time I hate the industry that has been so kind to me. We don’t have to do that approach. We don’t have to sell fear and self worth. But some just want the path of least resistance and I hate them for that.

Comment by Rob

At least you didn’t claim that adopting the persona of the mindless consumer is the best type of ethnography.

Comment by John

just when i think its impossible to be any fucking sadder you pull it off. twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

On the other hand you’ve probably nailed the truth of brand loyalty for real people, they simply can’t be arsed to try anything else

Comment by Northern

You’re back!
You’ve been missed.

Comment by Rob

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