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Heavy Users, Light Users and the Fallacy of Brand Loyalty

brand-loyalty

Image Credit: zmag.com

 

The Ad Contrarian has been on fire lately. I especially liked one of his recent posts on heavy users which I found especially insightful:

 

People in advertising and marketing often wrongly equate usage and loyalty. They think that heavy users in a category tend to be brand loyal. And that heavy users of a brand are brand loyal. The truth can be quite the opposite.

 

He goes on to give an example of a fast food patron who eats at McDonald’s 4 out of 10 times and other fast food restaurants with less frequency, making this person the “heavy” user, however, he eats at competitors the other SIX out of 10 times. Assuming that the heavy user in this example is brand loyal would be incorrect.

Success of a brand is not singularly related to high degrees of brand loyalty…the most important success factor for mainstream consumer brands is not how many loyal customers you have, but how many customers you have.

 

The big issue with equating heavy usage with brand loyalty is the overemphasis clients and agencies place on helping people establish “relationships” and “engaging” with brands, when in fact they are oftentimes just heavy category users with little loyalty.

 

READ THE ORIGINAL POST HERE: Sex and Commerce – The Ad Contrarian

BONUS: Here’s another recent TAC post that points out how 60+ agencies posting Harlem Shake videos runs contradictory to over-inflated claims of innovation and originality: Slaves To Trendiness

Go Daddy’s New Campaign

I really like this new series of spots from Deutsch.

Go Daddy has been known for pushing the envelope with their “sex sells” style of ads, but what’s different about these commercials is that they contrast blatant sexuality with the nerds behind the scenes. The result is that Go Daddy comes off as self-aware; they understand how they’re perceived by the public and confront it head on.

Categories: MARKETING Tags: , ,

Chipotle Goes Viral With “Back To The Start”

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

DISCLOSURE: This post was originally published September 29th. See the original + follow up comments on the Casanova Pendrill blog.

I’ve written before about Chipotle’s fresh marketing strategies, and this time they’ve delivered an incredible short film that is both an engaging and moving brand story.

Notice anything?

There’s no mention of dollar menus, happy meals, sizzling burgers or anything remotely associated with fast food – and why should it?

It doesn’t go head-to-head with the other fast food brands, and it doesn’t have to. In 2 minutes, Chipotle has created their own sub-category.

This is a much bigger idea than getting a quick meal at a drive through. It’s about a bigger purpose: going back to basics and treating food (and where it comes from) with respect and integrity.

Not only that, with over 1.2 Million views on YouTube, it shows you can earn a lot of attention online without traditional advertising.

BONUS: Check out the “Making of…” video

Super Bowl Wrap Up

February 10, 2011 Leave a comment

My favorite ad of the game was Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” spot. Everything from the narration, to the music, to Eminem as a pitchman was solid (Credit to W+K).

Even so, it seems like everyone is so in love with the ad that they’re forgetting what got the Detroit automakers into this mess in the first place:

“…the car companies discouraged diversification of the city’s economy, and city residents will tell you that the Big Three pretty much just stood by as the unemployment rate soared, the school system went sour, violence reached epidemic proportions, and city government became a piggy bank for the friends and family of city officials.” SOURCE:Super Bowl Ad Stories: Chrysler, Eminem Break an Awkward Silence in Detroit– Fast Company

The ad is positive and empowering, but the city has a long way to go and I’m a little skeptical how much advertising alone can influence the kinds of changes the Motor City needs. There are serious issues that need to be addressed (employment, crime, education, etc.), so let’s hope “Imported from Detroit” serves as the symbolic step the city needs to show that the close-minded automakers of yesterday are serious about bringing back innovation and craftsmanship. Real change will happen with committed reform – not just advertising.

My other favorite:

Doritos – Pug Attack

 

Categories: MARKETING

Do People Line Up For Your Brand?

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Apple Store in NYC

One of the things that’s really sunk in in my first few months as a Planner is that the answers you get aren’t that important if you’re not already asking the right questions.

So here’s a question to keep in mind:

Do you have a product or service people will wait in line for? If not, why? What can we do, as Planners, to change behavior and give people a reason to give us some of their precious time?

I got the idea for this post this past weekend when I decided to try Kogi BBQ. Kogi is notorious for long lines; I’ve heard of people waiting as long as two hours for their food!!

Great food, bad pic

Anyway, the following video gives us two main reasons people wait in line:

1) People over-estimate the value of something when it’s free

2) People want to be 1st to see or do something that’s is considered cool

Well, Kogi and lots of other products aren’t free, but the second reason is a little more relevant.

Going a step further, I think one of the main reasons people will wait in line when they don’t really have to is for the story (of course, herd mentality and fanboy-ism can also be at play). And a story is greater than any product or service because it can last way beyond the point of sale.

In a product life cycle, the purchase is a short, fleeting moment. The anticipation, the excitement and everything else leading up to that moment are what create lasting memories for people. So much so that I’m still talking about a lunch I had at Kogi two days ago and not the breakfast I had at home this morning.

You can see lines like this just about any day at In-N-Out Burger, as well as in midtown NYC at Shake Shack, but the real challenge isn’t what happens when people form a line for you — it’s what they do when the line is gone.

Further reading/viewing:

Apple’s iPhone 4 Hits Stores Thursday

Crowds Queue Up Around U.S. For iPhone 4

How Long Would You Wait In Line for Food?

The Psychology of Waiting Lines

What I’m Reading: The Culting of Brands

Categories: MARKETING

TED TALKS: Life Lessons From An Ad Man

January 26, 2010 2 comments

I watched a funny, fast-paced presentation from Ogilvy Planner Rory Sutherland today. From the TED site:

Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value — and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.

The best part is if you jump to about 12:30 of the video, where he talks about the “repositioning” of Diamond Shreddies.

He ends his talk with a nice quote, “Poetry is when you make new things familiar and familiar things new,” which is a nice way of summing of what we do in the Ad industry.

On a side note, I just finished reading the marketing classic “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (How To Be Seen And Heard in the Overcrowded Marketplace),” by Al Ries and Jack Trout. It’s somewhat outdated at this point (it was written about 20 years ago), but I think it has some good points on things like Line Extensions and Brand Naming. Personally, I would recommend one of their other books, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” instead.

Categories: MARKETING

What We Can Learn From The New Skittles “Site”

skittlesretroposter

Some random thoughts about the new Skittles.com and how this is significant for brands.

I know the new Skittles.com isn’t original(Modernista has worked with this idea before)-BUT I think it shows brands need to exist ACROSS web – not just one site.

Brands have traditionally built their web sites like their brick & mortar locations-one central location for its customers. In the medium offered by the internet, and web 2.0, however, the Skittles site got me to thinking that the current method 99.9% of brands use isn’t an optimal use of the web.

The new web model doesn’t need a singular web presence.

The web is intangible, and because of the abstract nature of the web, maybe we’re going to see more brands go the Skittles route. If the definition of a brand is the psychological/emotional perception that people have BEYOND your company or product, then maybe companies need to focus more on what that brand means OUTSIDE their walls, because that’s where the true discussion of a brand’s identity lies.

The thing with the internet is that there really aren’t any walls, though. For the most part, information can flow freely. Many marketers have pointed this out before – brands need to join the discussions that consumers are having about them – so it only makes sense to me that the new Skittles site spread across Twitter, Wikipedia, Facebook, etc. is a manifestation of that idea.

Thoughts?

Categories: MARKETING Tags:
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