Growing up and changing brand loyalty

Today I’m going to introduce you to someone special.

This is Cathy, my daughters favourite teddy bear.

Cathy aged 4 1/2

Cathy aged 4 1/2

She’s had Cathy since she was born, she was a present from some very lovely people and has been hugged, peuked up on, covered in tomato sauce, subjected to many trips in the washing machine, been to the shops, been in the car, been to nursery, been EVERYWHERE. Cathy has been a huge part of my daughters life. And still is.

Even though my daughter has loads and loads and loads of toys, bears included, Cathy is still her favourite. For some reason, Cathy is THE ONE. There must be something about her, that makes her really special. My daughter does play with other toys. She even goes to bed with other toys – although in the middle of the night I’m likely to be woken up because Cathy is in her soft toy trunk and not in her bed. I know she would miss Cathy, if Cathy disappeared.

 

Cathy when she was quite new

Cathy when she was quite new

Cathy is a bit like your favourite brand. You know, the brand that you buy all the time. Say you support a football team and they’re not doing too great – you still support them right? Say you always buy groceries from one place and you stick with going there all the time. You have an affinity with the brand. You might ALWAYS buy a certain type of jeans because the fit is so good. You wouldn’t even dream of gong elsewhere, or if you do, you always gravitate back to that brand. Sometimes, things happen to sway us away from our favourite brand and that can change. Some day, my daughter will grow out of Cathy. She’ll probably still keep her (unless she’s fallen apart) but she won’t have such an important role in her life. This happens with brands too.

 

In UnMarketing, Scott Stratten wrote about how he changed his everyday coffee from Tim Hortons to McDonalds because of small changes like inconsistent coffee, having to pay in cash, bad cups and long waits. He says “one misstep or one small issue will not lead to somebody changing a day-to-day habit, but when you begin to add up enough of those small things, you open the door to your competition.”

So if people can change brands and go elsewhere for the same things that you offer, what can you do to make sure they don’t want to? Or to offer a service which is so fantastic that you are gaining new customers who are disappointed with what they are receiving somewhere else? I recently read The E-Myth, which is all about setting up very specific systems so that you produce exactly the same outcome again and again and again so that not only do you and your staff know what they are doing, but your customers always find that they are receiving the same high quality service every time.

A brand review is a really good way to take a look at your business and see how you can make improvements to make sure you consistently produce the same results and keep your clients coming back for more whilst ensuring that your brand values shine through at every touchpoint. We’ve all had a situation where a business we’ve used has let us down and we’ve looked elsewhere to get what we want. You don’t want this to happen in your business.

I’d love to know examples of times when you’ve felt that you’re ready to move on from one brand to another. Maybe they didn’t do anything wrong, you just grew up like my daughter will, or maybe there was a combination of different factors which made you change your loyalty. Let me know in the comments.

 

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