Loyalty is dead and buried, you say? I don’t think so!
According to one of Forbes magazine’s contributing authors, we have seen the death of brand loyalty due to cultural shifts.Ok, so the author – and publication – are from over the pond but her claim seems to be making the sweeping generalisation that this is simply the way it is nowadays.
Apparently, in the ‘old days’ people would find a brand that did what is promised and said brand earned its place in the home on a consistent basis and the manufacturers were rewarded with consistent purchases.
Seemingly though, according to a leading US based digital and consumer loyalty firm, 90 out of 100 Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) producers are losing market share on low-growth categories.
And in the words of the author, this “erosion of consumer loyalty represents a changed philosophy of buying. The standard for switching is based on a brand’s inability to seem like an entirely new and interesting option at every single purchase cycle.”
What’s to blame?
In a continuation of the doom and gloom, the author outlines that the shift has occurred because the underlying value of loyalty is no longer of particular relevance to society. It’s now a “sucker bet” to stick with what we know and love.
Seemingly, this is true across every aspect of life for millennials:
They are unlikely to commit to working for a company for any length of time – never mind to gold watch standard – and more and more people are going down the self-employment route (when they pen the phrase “you’re not the boss of me”, I still can’t help but envisage it coming out of the mouth of an angry teen who isn’t getting their own way!)
It appears religious beliefs are going by the wayside too and not because of actual beliefs but due to behaviours and connections associated with a particular place of worship. (6% more adults refer to themselves as atheists or agnostic than 10 years ago).
Then there’s scandal in Corporate America, making people distrust government, the press, financial institutions and corporations: big is apparently bad and you’re better off listening to some complete stranger than a longstanding, trusted company.
Oh, and not forgetting…. We must blame the parents too. Happily ever after is apparently only for Disney movies (more than 51% of millennials stateside grew up with divorced parents and 41% grew up with parents that were never married).
Meanwhile, on planet earth…
I get it, I really do. Times are changing, Thoughts and beliefs are shifting. And I know that someone hasn’t simply pulled the statistics out of thin air: there has to be some gravitas to them.
What I refuse to believe, though, is that the newer generations are turning the world into a place full of untrusting, unloyal individuals who won’t ever get married, or go to church, or put their faith in a large-scale employer…..
… and we will eat a different indescribable meal produced by some space age type pod each day, because heaven forbid we try to stick with something we enjoy.
There may be some truth in the ‘popcorn brain’ claim – the constantly stimulation of electronic multi-tasking has to have some impact but the fact we are no longer ‘wired to stick with what we know’….
Ok, perhaps people are more adventurous than they were even one or two generations earlier but we aren’t turning into robots who are programmed to reach for a new item of the shelf every time they go to the supermarket.
And new isn’t always better than known. I have definitely had moments where I have been swayed into trying something new because of a fabulous, too good to miss deal, only to be extremely disappointed.
I even know Brits living overseas (and no, they’re not old!) who ask visitors to their home in the USA to take a certain brand of stain remover soap with them, because they’ve tried and tested the American counterparts and have been left wanting.
Do writers such as this one seriously believe that a millennial will think “yum, that was delicious but I will continue to work my way through alternative brands just because it is not in the nature of my generation to stick with the ‘tried and tested’ anymore.’ Of course not.
Still alive and kicking….
There’s no doubt that tastes are changing and the pace of life is changing (even the writer admitted that part of the decline in sales for breakfast cereals was simply because people don’t have time for leisurely breakfasts anymore and want convenient eats to consume on the go). And without doubt, this will impact on peoples’ buying habits.
Times are pretty tough and people will doubtlessly be more easily swayed by a bargain than they might have been once upon a day.
So, there’s no denying the fact that brand loyalty is going to be harder to come by.
But that just means that, as a business, you will have to be more innovative in how you go about creating that positive user experience that, in turn, will lead to repeat business and customer loyalty.
Talk to The Monachie Project team today and we will work with you to gain valuable insights into your business from your customers point of view so that you too, don’t start to lament consumer loyalty as something from a bygone era.