#6 Brand Loyalty: Time to Redefine

Brand loyalty is where a person buys products from the same manufacturer repeatedly rather than from other suppliers. Thats the Wikipedia definition and the accepted relationship protocol between brand and consumer

I challenge you to reverse this. Why is it that we owe any brand our loyalty? What is the reward for continuing to purchase one brand over and over? You get to keep paying for and promoting their product. Gee, thanks.

Are the consumer goods available to us so amazing that we should feel privileged to be able to continue purchasing them? And why is it these brands that we’re so loyal to offer incentives to new consumers that are over and above any deal the loyal consumer sees? For example, my cell phone and cable providers, whom I’ve been a loyal consumer of for years, regularly offer deals to new consumers that make me realize that I am paying three to four times as much as the deal they are offering someone else who shows no sign of the loyalty I have. Sure there are a few “reward” programs from some brands, but nothing near the reward of not being loyal. By this analysis, it is more cost effective for the consumer to be brand/service jumping all the time.

Thats why I say turn it around. It isn’t up to us to show loyalty to the brand, but the brand needs to show me that it is interested in providing me with their product or service and an experience that is enjoyable to me. Carol Lynn Rivera wrote about this very thing, and I think she hit the nail on the head with her conclusion “loyalty, rather, is a mindset – giving customers what they want, when they want it.”

“Brand Loyalty,” in my book, is now defined as how the brand is loyal to the consumer in providing the best possible experience. If that really is the case, then I’ll be buying those products/brands all the time.

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