Pitch Exclusive: Can brands revive brand loyalty?

Till a decade back, brands could boast of die hard brand loyalists. With a plethora of choices, the days are gone. Can brands revive loyalty? The bigger question, however, could be - How?

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 28, 2011 9:39 AM
Pitch Exclusive: Can brands revive brand loyalty?

“Word of mouth can revive loyalty”
Shashank Srivastava, Chief GM (Marketing), Maruti Suzuki
Brand loyalty in today’s world has decreased dramatically and the reason is twofold. First, there are too many brands and the consumer has plenty of choices.

Secondly, people have a lot more money today and they are very aggressive in not just spending but in experimenting too. Once you start experimenting with brands and products, the concept of brand loyalty doesn’t make any sense.

The only way for marketers to revive brand loyalty is through word of mouth. One good thing today is people are very well connected through social media, internet and mobile phones. So it’s much easier for people to communicate. You have to keep consumer satisfaction very high. There is larger word of mouth going around and therefore it is essential to have satisfied customers who are more likely to talk about your brand and as a result build brand loyalty.

“Keep reinventing and stay relevant”
Rajesh Mehta, Director, Marketing, Western Union
The onus is on you to keep reinventing yourself and stay relevant to changing consumer needs. Else, competition might steal the thunder. As a brand, you should be able to embrace those changes ahead of your competition. The only way to keep consumers loyal is to give them what they need today and anticipate what they might need tomorrow.

“Create buzz around the brand”
Peshwa Acharya, Senior VP, Marketing, Reliance Communications
As long as brands would be there, there would always be loyalty. It is the question of the length and effect. I don’t agree that brands need to revive brand loyalty.

They may need to work differently or harder to drive loyalty. In the telecom sector, there is hyper intensive competition, hence to drive loyalty one needs new tricks: product, touch point, communication, usage etc. May be the concept of loyalty needs to be changed. In the retail sector, it is not just about the shopping trip, but the advocacy, driven by experience and host of factors.

I think, marketers must now use the tricks of trade of various categories. Single category expertise is gone. We must apply concepts across categories.

Our Take
We believe that we have left the days of brand loyalty, a decade behind us. With a plethora of choices, the consumer is ready to experiment.

If someone is going back to the brand, we’d like to call it brand stickiness rather than loyalty. And stickiness comes from customer delight and service. While, brands like Apple provide that, even die-hard Apple loyalists are ditching the brand because of its rigidity.

Reinvent yourself before competition outdates you. The consumer today, is ready to ditch you, for anybody who promises a better product and above all – better service.

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