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Advertise to the Customers You Have
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Is brand loyalty a fleeting concept in today's hyperactive environment? With so much access to even more information, consumers can choose anything they want. Why should they stick to a single brand of a certain good or service?

We believe that not only is brand loyalty here to stay, but research suggests that if you promote your brand more to the customers you've already captured, it is highly unlikely that they are going to go anywhere.

First, the consumer has already taken the hardest step: trying the brand. Once that has happened — as long as they enjoyed it — they are more likely to try your brand again. Now, if you are a member of a large industry and there are many choices for the consumer to select, you may be in luck. Because of the way consumers make decisions, we are primed to take what behavioral economists call the "path of least resistance." Consumers do not like making complex decisions; therefore they will more than likely choose the option they had previously — your brand.

This is nothing new. As we all have studied the principles of business and sales, we all know that the race to be first in the consumer's mind is a race we must win. Winning the choice battle is easier than winning the conversion battle.

Second, the research agrees: Ask Your Target Market (AYTM) did research on brand loyalty. When asked, 58% said that they are very likely to make purchases from the same company if they found a product or service they liked. When we add the "somewhat likely" that number balloons to an impressive 95% of respondents.

This is why we keep in touch with our customers. Once they try a brand out, the biggest obstacle has been removed. Keep the brand in the consideration set of your customers. Though repeat business is not a guarantee, the probability of a purchase from a repeat customer is higher than that of a new customer.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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