Some brands last too long for their own good

April 23, 2014

Skimming through the fluff posts on my Facebook feed over the weekend, I saw an ad from Timbuk2 about recycling old bags to receive a 30% discount on a new bag. Now, my two messenger bags are 12 and 6 years old respectively, and they’ve survived spills, drops, scrapes, and fluids involved with two colleges, daily commuting on public transport, work and comic/anime conventions, and a half-dozen mission trips across four countries. To put it succinctly, they’ve been to hell and back. And yet, thinking about the offer I said, "I'm not giving up my bags. They still have several more years of use to them."

I then looked through the comments on the post, to see what people thought of the idea. Turns out, I was not in the minority. Most of the posts were brand loyalists who couldn't dream of giving up their messenger bags. Most quoted how long they've had theirs, what adventures the bag(s) has survived, and how even though it'd go to a good cause, it's difficult to hand over something that's been through so much.

This is a brand that has created a product where it actually does last and it creates brand ambassadors simply through using the products. Few brands and companies out there are capable of accomplishing this. Yes, fabric options, pouch dimensions, and accouterments have evolved for the Timbuk2 products, but the overall brand has remained consistent and so has the consumer loyalty.

That's not to say I never cheated on them by purchasing a commuter bag from another company. But, that bag happened to have the strap unravel from the stitching-twice. Not to mention it was unbalanced when all the pockets were filled due to how they were positioned.

When it comes to fabric-based products, I want to know it’s not going to fall apart on me somewhere along the way. I want to know it can take a bit of a beating, or can be easily cleaned/fixed up when necessary. The same goes for a lot of brands, both product and corporate, that I interact with. I want quality products, services, and experiences. Yes, it costs a bit more. But that’s where the brand value vs. financial cost comes into play. Quality experiences don’t come cheap.

I think short of something breaking through the nigh invulnerable fabric (ballistics nylon does seem pretty darn durable) on the bag, or something equally damaging, it’s going to be a long while before I see fit to purchase another messenger bag-from Timbuk2 or elsewhere. That said, if anyone ever asks me what brand bag to get, I know which one I’d support.

What brands would you recommend and promote to others when prompted or given the opportunity? Which ones do you remain loyal to and have become an ambassador for? What factors made you become so loyal to these brands?

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