Ranvir Shorey, in film Dasvidaniya, has given alcoholics their best teaching in life –
‘Life mein biwi badlo, ghar badlo, gadi badlo, lekin apna brand kabhi mat badalna’
(In your life you may change wife, house or car, but you should never change your preferred brand)
All of the alcoholics I have met in my life have a preference for a certain brand. None of them could correctly remember when and on what consequence they ended up liking one particular brand over others. Almost all studies have one result in common – more than half of drinkers are occasional and they prefer social drinking. For almost everyone, the preference does not start at the beginning and it happens slowly. We have to look how most people start drinking – it generally starts in high school or in college and hostels play a vital role here. For most people, drinking starts as a new adventure they would like to experience and it remains. Just to be a part of a group, or influenced by seniors or friends – almost everybody starts their journey with the beverage.
The initial fear of losing control and health problem make them try lighter ones. When the first group sits for their booze party, a bottle or two of Breezers have to be on the shopping list. Not all have the courage to start with rum but slowly the confidence and fun grow and so does the adventure. The eagerness to try new things makes them try every brand available in the market. Initially, promotions and advertisements also guide their new try – When you are buying it from the shop, you have to ask for something and you have seen a brand name on the back cover of the magazine.
Once you have entered the field of drinking and have made friends alike, you will slowly become more knowledgeable about the available brands. Few expensive ones which you couldn’t try in your college days will also be tried and at that stage, you will slowly start finding the ideal one for you. This does not happen as a plan – your inner self automatically guides you to a particular taste and smell.
There are various reasons why we end up liking a particular brand and the reasons are mostly personal.
In a survey done by Nielson, the majority of respondents have shown the taste of the drink as the reason for them liking it.
A lot of people want to get intoxicated quickly and want it to stay for long, while some do not like to be totally out of control. Some beverages leave a long hangover period while some brands get over quickly. All these factors guide the drinkers to stick to a particular brand.
Though a lot of people show this as a reason for sticking to a particular one, it is not always true. When these people are offered other brands at no cost, they do not hesitate to have new ones. This, however, is a strong reason for regular drinkers.
Just Like That:
A lot of people have a preference which does not have a proper reason. They have simply stopped experimenting and have stuck to a particular brand and have started liking it.
Some people do not get intoxicated easily and prefer harder ones. While some may lose a night with a peg of Gin some may drive you home perfectly even after a bottle of rum. This varies with the physical condition of the person and that guides their choice.
It is more like supporting a football team – you have seen from childhood that your father loves Chelsea and you end up doing the same. Peer influence is also a key factor which guides our preference for a particular brand.
Almost all drinkers generally start with a lighter one and after giving a lot of penny to every other brewer, they become a loyalist to someone.