Brand Advocates: Our Bloggers’ Favorite Brands to Buy

The folks here at Quality Logo Products who bring you daily blogs are some interesting people…there’s no lying about that. We have covered topics ranging from architecture to snazzy vending machines to Ghostbusters and which brands will survive the apocalypse. Clearly, we’ve got a lot to say!

During a recent discussion with Mandy about which brands we love, we got to talking about a possible blog post. We both have brands that we love talking about to anyone who will give us two seconds to listen. So, of course that got turned into a, “hey I wonder if anyone else in Cubeville also has a brand they love?” blog idea. Some of your favorite QLP bloggers do, and they’re more than happy to talk about the brands they willingly advocate for.

Eric L.

Eric Labanauskas

What’s the one brand that you love and if anyone asks you instantly go into fan mode?

RUGBY Ralph Lauren. It’s a “preppier” take on RL’s Polo line. [It’s] inspired by a lot of East Coast, Prep School, vintage clothing. In short: an Ivy-League fashion sense, without the tuition bill to accompany it.

Why do you like it so much?

Well, I guess the first prerequisite for clothing is that it has to look good. It does. All their clothing has a tailored fit, which means I’ve never had to take anything from them into a tailor’s shop. All their pieces are built to last, from their finest wool suits, down to their cotton hoodies. Mostly – and this is what I’m a big sucker for – they’ve a very “boutique” approach to their line, meaning when they make something, they make it for one season and one season only. I really dig the fact I can own something I won’t see on 99% of the guys my age, even in as big a city as Chicago.

Do you recognize something that other companies could be doing to get this same reaction from their customers?

Rugby’s clothing may cost twice, three times, five times as much than a typical shopping mall chain store’s, but it lasts practically forever, can take a literal beating, and can still manage to look good. Companies nowadays manufacture items that are so cheaply and hastily constructed that you could practically call them disposable. I would rather buy one shirt that will last a decade than ten that won’t make it until the end of the year. Quality over quantity.

Jen F.

Jen Forbes

What’s the one brand that you love and if anyone asks you instantly go into fan mode?

Charmin Bathroom Tissue (I prefer extra strong, but I’m not opposed to Charmin extra soft or Charmin basic.)

Why do you like it so much?

It’s just so much stronger and thicker than other brands (I’ve compared less expensive brands and nothing adds up. I will always pay more, it’s worth it!)

Mandy K.

Mandy Kilinskis

What’s the one brand that you love and if anyone asks you instantly go into fan mode?

Forever Yogurt

Why do you like it so much?

I love that they decorate their stores based on their location (e.g. The one by the Belmont EL stop has a train motif including a wall that looks like a train and seats like actual EL train seats. Just without the stains). Their business model is: pick as much froyo and toppings as you want, we’ll charge you per ounce. This is a great way to ensure that your customers get EXACTLY what they want. And they have a generous selection of froyo and toppings. I also love that for the winter months, they started a hot chocolate bar. This way they can still be a go-to destination even in the winter. I don’t know if they still have a per ounce pay model for that, but you do still get to pick from a ton of toppings. Including squeeze-on Ghirardelli chocolate or caramel sauce.

Do you recognize something that other companies could be doing to get this same reaction from their customers?

They are great about their social media outreach. If someone mentions them on Twitter, they’ll follow them first. They’re also very likely to retweet @mentions. They’ve retweeted me at least 5 times. So not only do they have a great product, but I feel like they really care about my business and excitement for them.

Joe G.

Joseph Giorgi

What’s the one brand that you love and if anyone asks you instantly go into fan mode?


Why do you like it so much?

The whole “food with integrity” stance that’s become the focal point of their brand identity is cool and all, but for me, it all comes down to the taste. Nothing beats the sheer deliciousness of Chipotle’s gourmet burritos and tacos.

Do you recognize something that other companies could be doing to get this same reaction from their customers?

Naturally, other companies could take the same stance that Chipotle has taken on sustainably raised food and respect for the farmers and land and whatnot, but again, if more fast food establishments would simply focus more on quality rather than quantity, then customers would probably take notice.

Goodies to take home with you:

A little sampling for you to take and use

  1. Customers are willing to pay for an expensive product as long as the quality fits the price tag. If a jacket won’t wear out after one season, then by all means charge a bit more since customers will be saving money in the long run.
  2. Embrace your location! Don’t be just another cookie-cutter store, but embrace your architecture or the environment around your shop. Make the shopper’s experience as unique as possible to best stand out in their mind.
  3. Stand up and have integrity. Be truthful with your customers and don’t try to sell them a faulty product. People nowadays have some powerful BS meters that can see through the lies a company is trying to hawk.
Which brands instantly put you in “fan mode”? Are you willing to pay more for those brands because of the trust you associate with them?

Amy Hoidas

Amy is one of Quality Logo Products’ Community Manager. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd and thoroughly enjoys reading business and financial news and having impromptu discussions about it. Oh yeah, she’s “one of those” people! A true Midwestern girl by nature, she loves riding her bike, photography, and the Chicago Cubs. You can also connect with Amy on


  1. JPorretto

    AIR JORDANS!!! My current record is $220 on one pair. Never thought in a million years I would do that.

    P.S. Chipotle is a beautiful thing…

    • Amy Swanson

      Holy crap, $220 on one pair?!?! Do you wear them or have them locked in some glass display case in your home?? 😉

      P.s Agreed- Chipotle is a beautiful and marvelous thing! So glad Joe is doing his part in promoting them

  2. Mandy Kilinskis

    So, Amy, you didn’t mention your favorite brand.

    Was this a length issue or that fact that we already know? 🙂

    • Amy Swanson

      Hahaha, seeing as how I have 2 Dunkin’ Donuts blogs and 1 Keurig blog I think our readers get the jest of who I advocate for 😉 Plus, I feel kind of creepy tweeting @DunkinChicago about my love for them (since I’ve done it so many times), pretty soon they’re going to slap a restraining order on me. “Yeah, we get it! You love us, now get a life!” is probably what they say when they see me on their Twitter feed hahahaha

      But, thank you for your awesome contribution! Because of you I’m waiting for the Forever Yogurt in Naperville to open up so I can find out for myself why they’re awesome 🙂

  3. Eric

    Chipotle is – without argument – the best Mexican “fast food” for the money. Also, their consistency is pretty remarkable, and I can almost always count on them for the same level of cooking and flavor at one location as the next. Texas Roadhouse I feel the same about, and I’m amazed they can make everything from scratch, use fresh-never-frozen meat, and still make it taste the same in Tinley Park, IL as it does in Chattanooga, TN. Consistency is something I’d definitely add to the take-aways.

    Great post, Amy. Be curious to see what everyone else would say is their avorite product.

    And Joe, Jeff…Viva Chipotle!

    • Amy Swanson

      I’m in total agreement with you, Jeff, and Joe on Chipotle. I truly love them as well, they’re quality control is spot-on since you can go into any location and know exactly how your food will come out.

      I haven’t been to a Texas Roadhouse in years. There was one that opened up pretty close to my house a few years ago, but the wait was always 2 hours long. I loved their food though (especially their butter & rolls, YUM!) and should make a trip back there again.

      Consistency is a very good point to add, especially for nationwide chains. Nobody wants to go to one location expecting things to be just like at their home location and instead end up surprised. I’ve heard that McDonald’s in Europe is different than the McDonald’s here, which always surprises me given their crazy quality-control. Oh well.

      Thanks for your addition of RUGBY Ralph Lauren to the blog! The women’s selection was really nice, you could tell the pieces are high quality and won’t fall apart after a few wears.

      • Mandy Kilinskis

        Nope. Untrue. A cheeseburger from Woodridge, IL tasted exactly the same as a cheeseburger in Angers, France; Venice, Italy; and Munich, Germany. The menu is a little different, but the cheeseburger and fries are practically taste twins.

        • Amy Swanson

          Huh, that’s interesting because I’ve heard from a couple people in classes who studied abroad in Germany and Japan that have said that McDonald’s over there tasted better than it does here. Maybe with jet lag and sleep deprivation it alters people’s taste buds differently LOL

          • Mandy Kilinskis

            I think it’s the longing for cheap, American food.

            Fun story. In France, the cheeseburger is priced cheaper than the hamburger because nobody over there really wants to eat the rubbery American cheese. I was happy, though. A cheeseburger for less than a euro? Bring it on!

            • Amy Swanson

              Silly French people, their cheeseburgers are awesome and that “rubbery American cheese” is what makes it fantastic! Geez, I’d be a happy camper over there I guess 😉

  4. Amanda

    Great blog post Amy!! Let’s see, some brands that I love, advocate, and am willing to spend extra $ for: Jif peanut butter, Scott toilet paper, Coke Zero, Colgate toothpaste, Surf powdered laundry detergent, hmm..I can’t think of anything non household, lol. I advocate American cars, Old Navy clothes, and HP computers too, but you don’t really have to pay extra for those. =) Oh, and Chipotle is amazing! And I seriously need to try that Forever Yogurt sometime.

    • Amy Swanson

      I’m right there with you and Jif Peanut Butter! I will buy that over any other brand, hands down. I’m more of a Crest toothpaste gal myself, but I understand that once you find a brand you like, it’s tough to switch back and forth.

      We’ll have to get a QLP gang of us to go visit the Forever Yogurt in Naperville when it opens!! 🙂

  5. Jill Tooley

    Well, one of my favorite brands is Pandora…but you already knew that one, right? 😉

    As far as other brands go, here are a few I’ll go out of my way to purchase (and even recommend to others when given the chance): ALL brand allergen-reducing detergent, Band-Aid, Oreo, and Cheetos. I’m sure there are way more than that, but that’s all for now.

    Great post! 🙂

    • Amy Swanson

      Yep, Band-Aid brand all the way! The generics always stick for like 6 hours and then the stickiness wears off and they fall off. So then you use another cheap one and another and another, and then pretty soon you’ve emptied the box and your wound still hasn’t healed yet. Beyond frustrating!!

      Thanks for the other suggestions too, Jill! Keep on rocking out to Pandora!

  6. david k waltz

    I’m with Jen – Charmin rocks!

    As for the kiddo’s, mac and cheese is not even touched unless it is Kraft.

    For someone like me, who does a lot of reading and research for business, strategy, and finance topics, there is a certain amount of respect for the top business school brands – Harvard, MIT, University of Chicago, Stanford, etc.

    Oh, and whenever I think of logo products, I immediately think of QLP!

    • amy

      I can’t believe I forgot about Kraft Mac & Cheese! No other brand compares to that blue box 🙂

      It’s also very interesting that you brought up the business school brands. Publications I think are also taken into account for their respect and unbiased reporting. Some are obviously better than others.

      Thanks for reading and commenting on all of our blogs, David! It’s so cool to hear that QLP has a brand advocate out there rooting for us!

  7. Ellyn Gilmore

    My favorite brand has to be Target. I don’t really know what draws me to the store, but I must say I love everything they have from their shoes to clothes to decorations etc. One time I spent approximately 2 hours roaming the isles of Target for no particular reason and I never leave the store without buying at least $50 worth of stuff. The nice thing about Target is their credit or debit cards where if you purchase anything in the store with one you automatically receive 5% off. I think this is a better deal than stores like Jewel and Dominick where you only receive certain discounts if you use the card. The best thing that ever happen to Target in the past few years was the addition of the “Dollar Section” as I call it. The section is always located in the front right when you walk in and it is always filled with new things to purchase for a dollar. The things range for toys to kitchen supplies and it never fails that I find something that “I have to have”.

    • amy

      Like you, I cannot leave Target without spending $50. I don’t know why, it’s all that little stuff of, “Oh, I need this!” that start to add up all of a sudden I guess. The addition of their “dollar section” has certainly made spending more time within Target last longer, I can’t walk past it without stopping.

      Thanks for this awesome suggestion, Ellyn!

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