How Brands Can Fight Back Against Waning Consumer Loyalty

For brand marketing efforts, focusing specifically on your most loyal of customers is simply no longer an option. According to research from Nielsen, only 9% of U.S. consumers say that they are brand loyal – and even that number rises above the global average (8%).

Translation? The 80/20 rule is out the window. Though many brands used to rely on 20% of their customers to deliver 80% of sales, consumers’ collective desire to try new things has rendered that close-to-irrelevant. In response, brands have absolutely flooded the market with new products in an attempt to cast a wider net.

The problem with that strategy? Eighty percent of those new products aren’t incremental additions to the category or brand; instead, these products ultimately serve little function other than to provide consumers with a surplus of choice. Consequently, Nielsen suggests that a quarter of new product introductions actually reduce the sales of a brand.

So, what’s the answer for marketers looking to grow their brand in spite of today’s disloyal landscape? Let’s dive in.



Where is the Opportunity?

With only 9% of U.S. consumers being staunchly loyal to their brands, that leaves 91% of the population as our area of opportunity. However, within that large set, consumers’ appetites for adventure can vary.

Thirty-six percent of Americans love trying new products, and they will actively search for new brands to test out. Though getting them to test out your product for the first time may be relatively easy, it is challenging to retain this consumer. On the other hand, 55% percent of Americans can be considered more conventional; while they prefer to stick with the known quantities where possible, they can be moved to try another brand or product based on specific drivers.






What Factors Drive Decisions?

There’s a distinct difference between getting consumers to try your offerings and actually retaining them as loyal customers. Accordingly, Nielsen sought to determine the factors that differentiate the two.

Unsurprisingly, the factor most likely to encourage product trial is value for money, with 39% of consumers indicating so. Pretty intuitive, right? Likewise, 32% say pricing promotions are an impetus – further reinforcing that “bang for your buck” is a great way to get consumers’ attention. However, it’s physical features that hold the most influence over buyers in the long run, with superior quality and function (34%) and ease of use/convenience (31%) ranking as the two most impactful qualities for sustained success. As marketers, it’s imperative to develop messaging that touches on each of these factors in order to earn new customers and keep them in the fold.






How to Communicate with Consumers

In the end, how you deliver your message can make a major impact on the bottom line. Brands looking to get consumers to try something new would be wise to promote advocacy from their most loyal of consumers. After all, recommendations and reviews (26%) significantly outpace TV, radio, print, and mobile advertisements (15%) in terms of their ability to prompt disloyal actions. As we discussed in 3 Ways to Build Brand Loyalty with Experiential Marketing, live events can be a great way to encourage word-of-mouth marketing while also reinforcing brand messaging and education.

Is your brand looking to obtain and retain more customers in today’s increasingly competitive landscape? Contact us today to learn how our suite of experiential-led services can help you get a leg up on the competition and earn lifelong loyalists.

Sources: Nielsen Battle of the Brands Consumer Disloyalty is Sweeping the Globe 2019, Nielsen Disloyalty is the New Black 2019

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