Is Brand Loyalty Really Dead?

Brands lose customers because of dips in quality, scandals involving their business practices, and the ease of access to literally hundreds of other options at the push of a button. Brands do not lose loyalty because this generation isn’t as loyal as its predecessors. Brand loyalty is definitely still around, but it has changed shape according to the times.

Read more here.

Brands in Time of Crisis

When Summer Mills visited her local CVS drugstore recently, to save a few dollars she bought the store-brand facial scrub rather than the Olay version she normally uses.

“I thought I’d be able to tell the difference, but I couldn’t — I looked at the ingredients and they seemed almost the same,” says 30-year-old Ms. Mills, a stay-at-home mother of two in Ardmore, Okla. On her next shopping trip, “I’m going to buy the store-brand moisturizer and cleanser — it’s less money.”

Many Americans are changing their everyday purchases and abandoning brand loyalty, prompted by the persistent financial pressure of rising food, gasoline and electricity prices. 

Retailers are also sensing more shopper experimentation. This fall, supermarkets Safeway Inc. and Kroger Co. noted that sales of their store brands are on the rise. “In this economy, customers are much more willing to try a private-label item, and we’re seeing signs that this is happening more and more as the year progresses,” Kroger CEO David Dillon said on a conference call.

To be sure, overall sales of name-brand goods are still higher than those of store brands. Still, about 40% of primary household shoppers said they started buying store-brand paper products because “they are cheaper than national brands,” according to a September report by market-research company Mintel International, which interviewed 3,000 consumers. Nearly 25% of respondents reported that it is “really hard to tell the difference” between national brands and store brands of paper products. Store brands on average cost 46% less than name-brand versions, Mintel found.

The above paragraphs are extracted from todays WSJ’s article At the Supermarket Checkout, Frugality Trumps Brand Loyalty .

Crisis provides brands a challenge and an oportunity. Is the time that most of the brands will be put to test by tougher buying conditions or pricing beyond brand as a final buying argument.

It’s the time new brands can made their way up into the consumers minds and benefit later from surviving these harder times.

Trends in Loyalty Marketing

Brand loyalty will diminish as the defining metric of success. Marketing strategies will become more varied.

Brand loyalty reduces customer loss, which improves business growth. You are not replacing lost customers to stay at the same sales volume. Customers must have a favorable attitude toward the product to develop loyalty.

Looking at the future of [tag]loyalty[/tag]-[tag]marketing[/tag] [tag]innovation[/tag], three major trends will emerge.
Continue reading

7 Rules for Great Marketing

For marketing executives seeking to build their brand in today’s frenzied, message-cluttered jungle, resting on their laurels seemed to be enough until not long ago — especially if they were meeting their goals, seamlessly executing ambitious programs, and keeping staff members happy enough to ward off corporate raiders. Nowadays, conditions are vastly different. To prove your worth as a marketer and brand builder, you need to tap into your entrepreneurial side.

Seven rules for marketing and brand building, based on a fundamental for entrepreneurial success, are now essential for compelling customers to embrace your brand.

Embrace 3-D marketing

Entrepreneurs are obsessed with building lasting, face-to-face relationships, a principle that only 3-D marketers can leverage to full advantage. 3-D marketing—encompassing events, exhibits, displays, merchandising, premiums, target market research, prospect follow-up and much more—enables marketers to truly “touch” their customers in ways that traditional mass marketing does not. It’s the most powerful tool in the marketing arsenal for creating customer relationships and building brand image on a face-to-face basis.

Make ROI your mantra

Entrepreneurs are notoriously impatient to maximize the return on every investment they make. Amazingly, in the world of 3D marketing, executives often forgo measuring ROI until called to the carpet — and by then, they have no assurance that they are looking at meaningful indicators of brand participation or brand loyalty.

Dive into your industry

Stellar entrepreneurs study their target industries in minute detail, zero in on the marketplace needs they’re uniquely positioned to fill, and develop brands that showcase their added value. Do you know what your brand is, what it isn’t, and what it needs to be? How should you be promoting your brand so that it resonates with a changing marketplace of prospects and buyers?

Focus resources through end-to-end planning

In the new world of 3-D marketing, you must champion end-to-end planning processes—beginning with market research and message development, graduating to creative conceptualization and implementation, and ending with customer follow-up and results measurement. As part of your marketing effort, you should be spearheading an end-to-end planning approach for each one.

Remember the vision

Entrepreneurs are “big idea” people with a compelling vision and the drive to see it through. Too often, marketing executives lose their dedication to understanding their corporation’s vision and strategy—and advancing them through several integrated tactics with a common set of underlying messages.

Seek new paradigms for achieving teamwork and synergy

The teambuilding spirit typical of entrepreneurs is a requirement for marketers, who should be taking it to the next level. Do you, for instance, organize on-site “pep-rally briefings” of your sales team just before major events—reinforcing the brand messages most likely to draw customers in? While sales would normally lead these meetings, your intimate branding knowledge should be compelling you to initiate this out-of-the-box approach.

Honor the team members

Like entrepreneurs, you depend on your team to help you shine. Learn to nurture and empower the people who work with you every day—encouraging them to take your ideas further, to continually focus on overall returns, and to develop new approaches. As the rules for brand-building success take a dramatic turn, you’ll need their talents to help you capitalize on future opportunities—and to maintain the luster of your brand.

via MarketingProfs.