Maintaining Our Loyalties

I’ve been a Mac fan since the mid-1980s. The 512 was my first love … that sexy little box with its point-and-click convenience won me over instantly. (Okay, and maybe I took more than a little pride in siding with the young upstart over its well-established, more corporate competitor.)

There have been tremendous advances in the nearly 25 years since. I’m still a loyal user. And I do recognize that my loyalty is based as much on emotion as technology.

So it’s no surprise that a recent Slate headline caught my eye: The Poor Man’s Mac Microsoft wants you to buy PCs because they're cheaper than Apple products, not because they're better machines.”

Take that!

But wait. The point of the article goes well beyond competing platforms. While low price strategies can offer short-term advantages, they can also carry long-term risks … as in brand erosion.

It’s a timely reminder to all of us. Yes, the current economy is tough. And yes, every brand – personal, service and manufacturing – is affected.

The key now is how we react.

In our scurry to survive immediate circumstances, we must also consider long-term costs. To core values on which the enterprise was built. To long-term relationships with key customers and service partners. To levels of quality, or service, or innovation that set us apart.

And it’s not enough to simply remind ourselves of those commitments. The companies that can demonstrate – and communicate – their determination are here to stay.