Brand Love Is Bullsh*t… So Now What Do We Do? Five Things.

As marketers, we want to work to build one of those iconic brands. A brand people love. You know… Apple. A brand that customers would walk across hot shards of iPhone screens to buy. The brand customers simply can’t and won’t live without.

However, the idea that people love brands and they are hopelessly devoted to them is—brace yourself—false.

I know, heresy… right?

But think about it. What brands do you love? I mean, really love. What product or service category would you absolutely positively not cheat on? In other words, if you love Coke but all the restaurant has is Pepsi, will you still drink a soda? For most people, the answer would be «yes.»

In the book How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp makes the compelling case that marketers’ perceptions of how sticky brands are is very much overblown. His research shows that if Brand A has, say, 23% market share, that does not mean 23% of people always buy the product and never buy from another brand. Sometimes, they buy another brand. And sometimes, other customers buy Brand A, and it works out that 23% of purchases are of Brand A.
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