Here's what they said.
ASICS. Since Mum and Dad spoiled me when I was 12, these are the only sports shoes I buy. They last forever and are Australian. Luckily they make specialised hockey shoes as well!
Jatz! The most versatile cracker that suits all and any occasion! You got a dip? Jatz. A soup? Dip a Jatz in. A fancy, artisanal soft cheese? Crack the Jatz out. A simple cheddar cheese? Jatz it. Feeling really hungover and can't keep anything down but need to eat something so you can muster the strength to order a burrito on Uber Eats? Jatz it, baby.
Super obvious one but Apple. Everything from their product design and UI right through to their bricks and mortar storefront is meant to make you ‘think differently’ as per their brand promise, but at the same time give you a sense of familiarity. I’ve dabbled with more phones and laptops than I care to mention but will always come back to Apple. That said, iTunes sucks!
I can be impulsive by nature but the one thing I am never impulsive about is my Impulse Merely Musk deodorant. I have used this deodorant since I can remember because it smells good and stops me smelling bad! I never worry about BO when I have my Impulse on!
RM Williams. I got my first pair of boots on arrival to 'Straya as I’d heard great things and love a good Chelsea boot. After 17 years, I am only on my third pair, which shows you the quality and craftsmanship that goes into the RM brand.
The Iconic. Their customer service/shipping options/returns policy is so user friendly and far outshines any competitors. They make the process of purchasing and returning so easy that I’m happy to throw my money at them. I’m sure they would lose money on the shipping/returns too, but make it back with the volume of sales from happy customers like myself.
The Dirt Company's laundry detergent. I like the idea that not everything we buy has to 'cost the earth' and Dirt have not only made a more eco-friendly washing detergent, but you can send their packaging back to them and they will reuse it. Their highly concentrated detergent won't harm the environment and the reusable packaging means a whole lot of plastic is not going into landfill or waterways. Another company that shows you can have a successful business while still protecting the planet.
I found this tricky as I am a bit of a brand tart, and I have been disappointed by a few brands in the past who have not lived up to my expectation (“Nooo we vehemently don’t and will never test on animals…but we will sell out to the big company who does”) BUT a brand I have stayed loyal to is Vegemite.
– I loved it as a kid—I suspect the 50s jingle had more to do with that than the taste. Mum and dad regretted introducing us to that song with our robust young lungs joyfully belting it out over and over again on long car trips.
– I loved it as a young adult—that black tar smeared on toast. It was post-party comfort food and it was a cheap meal (with Vitamin B!). It made you feel better, like you could go on.
– I loved it as a slightly older adult when living abroad—Vegemite toast was like a hug from home. How happy was I when I realised you could get it everywhere and it still tasted the same, unlike Cadbury chocolate. There's that brand disappointment!
I don’t know that Vegemite is the healthiest food group or even a brand with the most integrity, but I have an emotional connection to that bold brand of yellow, red and white with its tarry contents. It tastes so good on toast and even gives a stir fry an interesting edge. It’s stayed pretty consistent in a world that has changed so much, and as an Australian living abroad it’s part of your heritage and your identity. What’s even better, the brand has come back home to Australia.
I'm loyal to the US hair care brand DevaCurl. It has been the only brand to date that has been able to calm my crazy hair and embrace my God-given curls. Of recent times, DevaCurl have been dragged through the courts as many people have claimed it makes their hair fall out. But I have kept on buying it from the US after 5 years of use and I still have enough hair to go around, so somehow I don't think it is a problem for me.
I tend to enjoy a little cheating on my normal choices. But one brand I’ve stuck with since my teens is Ray-Ban sunglasses. I like that their styles never stray too much from the original designs and they don’t follow trends. I’ve been gifted 'luxury fashion' brand sunglasses before and they are more about getting their fancy name or logo on the product than anything else—the quality is dubious and the style trends come and go. Ray-Ban don’t try to be overly fashionable, they work well and look good. Proud middle-aged man moment for me was after I had bought a new pair of Ray-Bans overseas and in my first week back in Brisbane the cool hipster barista at the coffee shop said to me “Love your sunnies… they’re on point”.
Patagonia. It lasts for ages and they actually fix stuff. I had a pair of hiking pants that got hammered in Nepal and they fixed them for me. They also give 1% of sales back to conservation efforts. Their stuff also just seems to fit me really well.
Kawai pianos is mine. I’ve played for 45 years and, no matter where I find a Kawai, the touch and the sound is consistent. The Kawai is smooth and sonorous. Love that it’s been so consistent for so long.
Tim took mine—Apple has been the most consistent brand in my life since we started NWO (and before, too) and crossed over seamlessly into my personal life as well. Their stuff works, lasts, is simple to use and is beautiful to look at, use and hold. But if I have to pick a different one I’d pick Nudie Jeans. Like Patagonia they repair for free, they give you money for your old pair and resell it to save waste. And, their jeans just always fit me in a way no other ones ever have.
IKEA is a Swedish wonderland. For me there’s nothing better than a free Saturday afternoon, barrelling down the M1 towards the glorious blue and yellow castle. From beginning to end the experience is flawlessly designed—from the carpark, to the food, to the warehouse, to the satisfaction of sitting on the couch you spent the past hour bolting together. Every aspect of the IKEA brand is designed to hug your mind, body and soul. No brand can wrap you in a cozy $5 throw like IKEA can.
Haagen Dazs ice cream. No flavour ever disappoints and that cream base… I had my first HD on Singapore Airlines when I was 17 and I ate four in row. (Tip: ask four different air hostesses.)
I regularly drive out of my way to stop at 7-Eleven for fuel. I wouldn't even consider going anywhere else, and the reason why is so simple: the My 7-Eleven app. The lock-in price feature is a game changer and I get a thrill every time I see the price on the EFTPOS machine and how much lower it is than the price on the pump outside. It almost makes me enjoy buying fuel.
The Krispy Kremes don't hurt either.
As you can tell from the kinds of brands they chose, your brand doesn't have to be flashy or sexy. It just has to be true to itself and deliver on its promises, consistently and with a bit of personality.
Disclaimer: New Word Order is not sponsored by or partnered with any of the mentioned brands.