National Potato Chip Day

Branding and Loyalty

Potato chip fans are on par with football fans and fans of regional burger chains when it comes to the unencumbered fervor with which they follow their favorite brand. We’ve talked about what your coffee says about you in Market Positioning: Coffee’s Place in your Daily Life. So what does your potato chip brand say about you? We previously discussed the market positioning and social and cultural hierarchy of coffee and coffee makers, but with potato chips, the market looks a little different. The chip industry is more about preference than it is about a hierarchy, with the exception of any generic store chip brand. Other than the well-kept secret of any generic chip brand that tastes the same as, if not better than the bigger brand, the average chip buyer will have some sense of loyalty to a specific brand.

Innovation v. Consistency

It is fascinating how potato chip brands are balancing the tightrope between bringing innovation to the potato chip market and delivering the fan-favorite offerings on a consistent basis. The behind-the-scenes conversations of chip collaborations with fast-food chains, celebrities and other food companies must be so interesting. Can you imagine what goes into the talks that birth new chip flavors. I would love to be a fly on the wall and hear presentations on what must be some wild flavor combinations to shock the potato chip market. The new shapes, textures, and colors must be funky enough to garner some hype and not seem so outlandish to the loyal potato chip buyer.

Whether you buy chips to go with a sub or buy in bulk for a Sunday night football game party, think about what your favorite chip brand or flavor says about you. Or take it a step further and think about how the company was able to become your go-to bag of chips.

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