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Is brand loyalty dead?

Once upon a time, people were loyal to brands! They identified a brand that provided quality and was built to last. Once found, they were loyal for life.

Then things changed. After WWII, quality seemed to improve across the board as technology began to take hold. In order to secure brand loyalty, we began to see jingles, contests, and product placements. Brands did what they needed to do secure their position in the market.

Then things changed again. Quality was irrelevant—it was all similar and people began to ignore the brand because the same product with the same quality was available at (quite literally) their fingertips. Yes, today, it is true—you can buy anything you want online at the lowest price and have it delivered to you in some places in a matter of minutes.

That sucks for us doesn’t it? Maybe not!

While this shift is a challenge for sure, you can win at the loyalty game and much of it is tied to your business practices. Customers want to work with a company that treats it’s employees well, cares for the environment, and has excellent customer service.

Customer service is your secret weapon. The millennials are he largest and most diverse group of consumers we have ever seen. While many are brand loyal and use the same products as their parents; but they are more likely to switch because of poor business practices or poor customer service. And oddly enough, they wield power with their parents—tick off the kid and the parent may follow suit.

Consider the following opinions of millennials:

  • 78% say you will need to work harder to earn and keep their loyalty
  • 64% say they are more brand loyal than their parents
  • 63% report using the same brands as their parents
  • 32% will bail on you if they feel you have poor business practices
  • 37% will try a new brand when it comes out-so watch out
  • 38% will switch brands due to a personal recommendation

It is obvious that having good business practices and outstanding customer service is the key to a happy customer. And staying on top of technology for your agency as well as the leading supplier products will keep them coming back.

Today, make no mistake, the customer holds the cards when it comes to loyalty. Technology has made it so simple for the consumer to take their business elsewhere. Twenty years ago, one supermarket might carry a product you wanted and that was your go-to store. Today, if you become dissatisfied, a few clicks on Amazon.com and that same product can be in your kitchen in an hour or less without spending the gas to go to the store. So, you have no choice but to give the customer what they want.

Listen to your clients! Ask them what they want; do not tell them what you have. There is a difference. Interact with your customers online when they want to be engaged. Make sure you are targeting your customers with your CRM to make sure you are not giving them useless information. It makes no sense to send an email about a weekend in New York to a client in Hawaii. And constantly keep your eye on the supplier products and find improve on the ones you choose to represent.

Give your customers what they want, make sure your customer service is on-point, be a responsible corporate citizen, and make sure your products are in line with the desires of your ever changing, fickle customers! It is a challenge for sure, but one worth committing to.

Has this given you pause? Here is a link to a fascinating info-graphic with much more data—fascinating. Got a comment or a thought? Leave on in the comments section; let’s talk!

 

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