Do customers today buy for loyalty or for competitive price? That's the essential question posed in two of Tom Fishburne's Marketoons on the subject of Brand Loyalty. The first Marketoon (1. below) shows a shopper shunning one set of Valentine's Day products, about to buy the ones that are on sale, with the caption, "Nice try, but THAT brand is on sale." The second Marketoon on brand loyalty (2. below) shows a couple at the altar (actually, a bride, and a groom represented as a product box), with the bride saying: "And I promise to be loyal, forsaking all other brands, unless your competitor is on deal, you're out-of-stock, or you're just not meeting my need states at the time." Fishburne asks: "How much effort should marketers/retailers invest in growing brand loyalty? My question is: Has the consumer become so dollar-driven that loyalty no longer matters?
1. "Nice try, but THAT brand is on sale."
In the "old days" of advertising, five supposed motivations for buying were based on the following:
1. Love/Emotion: Customers buy for someone or something they love (family, pets, business, hobbies, books personal time).
2. Pride: People like to be proud of something they've got or done. A big TV or a new car, for example.
3. Guilt: Why does someone buy something new, invest money, or give a gift?
4. Fear: Fear is what has caused humanity to survive. Danger, fear of missed opportunities or fear of embarrassment drive these people.
5. Greed: The greedy want more and will pay for it.
(From the article, Why Do We Buy? by George Torok, where I refreshed my memory of these reasons; the article then goes on to tell retailers how they might tap into these customer emotions to make more sales.
2. "And I promise to be loyal, forsaking all other brands, unless your competitor is on deal, you're out-of-stock, or you're just not meeting my need states at the time."
Bottom line for retailers' bottom lines:
* Brand loyalty can be pretty fickle.
* Marketers often overestimate the motivations of their brand loyalists and how prominent their brands are in their consumers’ lives.
* We train consumers to buy our brands with price promotions, not loyalty.
* We are dealing with commoditized items on which it's hard to distinguish anything other than price.
So I repeat my question: Has the consumer become so dollar-driven that loyalty no longer matters?
I'd love to hear what you think. Thanks. Gilon