Most people know the story of the Pepsi Challenge and the launch of new tasting Coca Cola and there are many explanations of why a reaction to early A/B testing did not lead to a more successful product. The only people who probably know for certain are the two protagonists.
However the fact that Coca Cola was synonymous with traditional American values but this has more to do with the ambitious target the company set themselves in World War 2 that wherever US soldiers were stationed, Coca Cola would also be there. It became ubiquitous to the extent that people did not need to think about the other options.
Macdonalds has a similar appeal – it is often convenient, the product is consistent and people are generally pleased with the results. “Happy” and “Pleased” were defined at the apex of the Customer Experience Hierarchy because they allow people to use the automatic side of the brain rather than the need for “slow thinking”.
The Ancient Greeks believed in “nothing to excess” and why would individuals want to activate that sense of loss if they were unable a key brand. There will be times to trade up but this is often why mid-range brands do so well, they can spend money on their customer journey and being convenient.
Do people like or trust Amazon or Microsoft? Not really- both have reputational issues yet their products are easy to obtain.
However small firms often work in a different sector – they need to pursue excellence and be better than their competitors to make it more justifiable for automatic behavioural conditions to be overridden.
The other point about slow thinking is that it is often lazy and this will have an impact on marketing – a rigourous search is unlikely so being on page 2 of Google can be problematic.