The Customer Loyalty Myth

The Customer Loyalty Myth

The suggestion that customers can be loyal is odd. Think about it for a moment; who are you really loyal towards?  Your family, your friends, your colleagues?  Loyalty exists for a reason; it is the glue that makes us do the right thing so that we can have the benefit of being part of a group.  The reason that we have the capacity to be loyal is because evolution has determined our chances of survival are better if we team up with other people. There is no loyalty towards brands.  As consumers we know that our money gives us the power to choose.  If we switch brands we don’t feel the psychological counterbalance of shame and guilt about the company we’re leaving behind.  In fact, we feel precisely nothing about our ‘ex’ brand. Describing someone’s repeated use of a brand as ‘loyal’ is a projection of emotions that simply aren’t […]

Is Almost Every Company Making the Same Mistake?

Anyone who works for a large organisation and who has ever wanted to do something constructive for that organisation, will have experienced the same questions and the same dark forces waiting to challenge their brilliantly conceived scheme: the finance department. Arguably, it’s reasonable enough that a corporation, preoccupied as it is with making, sustaining and growing profit, should have a beady eye on every single cost that is incurred in the course of such pursuits. That this can lead to conflicts and disputes is unquestionable.  Frequently the return on investment from activity, particularly marketing activity, is hard to evaluate: it can be tricky to gauge how long a long term brand-building exercise will be making a return and valuing brands themselves is a topic that is hotly debated.  Assumptions are made (explicitly or implicitly) and models constructed: although often the casual observer might question the extent to which these are […]

Rebranding: Learning from the Past

I once had a conversation with the Marketing Director of a brand that is a household name in which he suggested that no products had updated their brand identities.  We were having the conversation because his main brand was so tired that sales were in decline and customers didn’t see its packs on the shelves of their supermarkets: it looked exactly the same as it had a decade earlier (and it was hardly the most relevant product back then). When I used Skoda as an example, he moved the goal posts to FMCG products.  Then when I referenced other FMCG products that had dramatically redesigned their brand without disaster he argued that these weren’t in the same category as his product. So his point was, that since none of his competitors had successfully updated their brand identity, he shouldn’t be the first one to risk it. Except, of course, all of […]

Promotional Pens (and the like), Do They Work?

I recently discovered some research which dovetails quite nicely with the blog I posted recently on Unconscious Advertising.  Researchers wanted to explore the impact of drug companies’ low-key promotional items on medical students; were those scientifically-minded students, on the verge of becoming fully fledged doctors, susceptible to the old-fashioned marketing technique of branding any old trinket in the hope that your customer sees it and decides to choose you over a competitor? The results shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s read my blog or my eBook.  But they are an interesting reminder that we could all benefit from tactical marketing that gets our brand around our customers as frequently as possible (however indirectly). You can find the article under the Latest Articles section here. As always, I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts. Philip Graves