• Transform magazine
  • September 25, 2018

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Brands bid customer loyalty goodbye

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International brands with net worths of billions don’t hesitate to invest in advertising campaigns with the hope of reaching a wide audience and connecting with it. The market however, is not the same as it used to be and ‘brand loyalty’ is a concept that no longer exist in customers’ minds.

To corroborate this, strategic marketing and advertising agency FKC conducted research, revealing its results in a report called ‘The Truth Report 2018: The trouble with real people.’ According to the Truth Report and the 2,032 people it examined, 51% of consumers can’t pick a favourite brand, while 74% get baffled by the advertising and the messaging of the brands.

With the Truth Report, FKC revealed the most common mistakes brands make when trying to change customers’ behaviours and showcase ways in which brands can achieve better communication with their targeted audience.

Stephen Fox, chairman at FKC, says, “Our research has shown that the heady, halcyon days of unquestioning consumer loyalty are long gone. The sea of consumer choice has diluted customer commitment to brands – even to companies like Amazon.”

The research’s results revealed the sectors that lack consumer loyalty the most. Specifically, with a percentage of 41%, tour operators top the list, followed by 35% for department stores, 34% for car brands, 33% for casual dining and 32% for shopping centres. Among the reasons why these sectors lack significantly of consumer loyalty, participants cite infrequent or irrelevant brand messaging.

Fox says, “The research validates that we find it easier to be loyal to brands that we either use or connect with every day, so the big challenge is how can those in the longer-term purchase category like tour operators and car brands increase loyalty when they are not always on our minds. Key to their success is providing a service and experience that becomes part of everyday lives.”

The decline of customer loyalty has taken a toll on the high street brands, with 2018 having the most store closures in the UK since 2000. For people that were able to pick a favourite brand, Amazon was the most common brand named that appeared, followed closely by supermarket chains Tesco and Asda.  

According to Fox, “Categories including department stores, shopping centres and casual dining are experiencing huge challenges in loyalty and would do well to evolve their service by looking at challenger brands and the growing community of high street pop-up competitors – who are making huge waves when it comes to consumer engagement.”

Furthermore, the research revealed that the best time that brands have in which to communicate with people is when they are relaxed – at the end of the working day or just before bedtime. At the other end of the spectrum, the morning has been shown to be the worst time to reach customers.

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