Brand loyalty can be a scary thing. We love our stuff and can get a little over-protective about our Ford/Chevy/iPhone. "It's the best. Ever!" we say. What we mean to say is that we love [insert logo here] so much that it is now a part of our life. Something we hold dear because we use and value it so much. How do brands secure such loyal followers? I think it's a combination of a good ROI, positive customer service and/or appropriate marketing.
Let's start with the obvious. Bonnaroo's shared experiences are the lifeblood of the festival's brand. Word of mouth, like legendary stories from the tent city or the-time-that-thing happened, has done more for Bonnaroo than any magazine advertisement. Online discussion continues to grow the community year round. It's a magnetic brand, our beloved Bonnaroo, and we are part of it's future. How cool is that?
Other brands (usually tech based) have a strong brand because of functionality. For me, these brands include Sony, Spotify, Honda & Timex. You can see the impact Sony has in all of the Bonnaroo Chris materials. I've been taking pictures with different models of Sony's Cybershot since I started going and all of my sites are maintained on a Sony Vaio that's been very durable. I've owned a bunch of cars and the Hondas have always been the most dependable, in my experience.
I've worn my Timex watch to most of the Bonnaroos, to Israel, Vegas and a zillion other places. With time zone settings, multiple alarms, indiglo for nighttime, and other watch features, it has been an indispensable tool in my life. Spotify made me convert to the digital world. I got rid of thousands of CD's and found all of my music handily available via computer or even phone. I recently discovered Sonos, which makes wireless speakers. The app works seamlessly with Spotify and my digital collection and the speakers fill the house with music beautifully. These brands have provided me dependable service and most of them for lasting periods of time.
|Taco Bus at Bonnaroo 2011|
A brand I discovered at Bonnaroo was Taco Bus. It was included in the Food Truck Oasis back in 2011. Two things struck me about it. 1) It is from Tampa Bay, near where I live, and 2) The line was consistently longer than the other trucks. The secret to Taco Bus is simple, quality ingredients and it's delicious. I now go to Tampa and the Taco Bus twice a week and it all started at Bonnaroo.
|Bonnaroo Music Festival and ShelterBox USA|
Everyone noticed that Bonnaroo had a quite a price hike this year and honestly, it was to be expected. The festival's pricing has risen slightly over the years, unlike the it's competitors. It's unclear what the hike is for exactly but Bonnaroo has always been a good deal and probably still is - the value is what you get is extraordinary, though you need to be actively ready to participate in a great deal of it.
I love my brands and usually will not be swayed to a competitor by cheaper prices. More often than not, it's just better to pay for for the product I know I will be happy to get. I'm not denying the value of other festivals, Bonnaroo happens to be perfect for me logistically, but it also happens to have a special camaraderie and super-positive attitude. And that alone, is worth the price of admission.
Read each of my documented experiences: