How much routine do you follow in a day? How many brand decisions do you make? Now consider how many of those decisions are made because there is a lazy comfort in making them? Maybe you’ll have the same cereal for breakfast, buy gas at your regular station, read the same news sites for your morning information and pick up dinner at your usual grocery store.
Do you do this because you are loyal to these brands? Most likely, they have become part of your habitual choices and, today, marketers can tap into your thinking and, with the right insights, change those rote behaviours. But, it’s not enough to instigate change. Instead, there has to be a reason that resonates emotionally and impacts consumers in a positive way – a way that enriches their lives, includes them, celebrates them and never, ever becomes habitual.
“Brands that cross the chasm from being about what they do or sell to the positive ways they impact and inspire our lives have the formula for the new loyalty.”
This is the new loyalty and it means brands have to work harder to connect, to be in conversation with their audience, respecting and listening to them all the time. Driving loyalty used to be the goal – just keep them coming back. Now, marketers need to give consumers a compelling reason to want to engage and show them that they are valued with content and experiences that impact them.
I’ve heard the term “kinship” as the new ideal. It’s about likemindedness, group mentality and belonging. Sure, that’s a part of it, but in our time starved, message barraged lives, the connections and brands committed to now must align with people’s beliefs and aspirations. “Loyalty” will be in the form of repeated contact, information sharing and interest, not necessarily purchase. Brands that cross the chasm from being about what they do or sell to the positive ways they impact and inspire our lives have the formula for the new loyalty.
Think about that the next time you order a drink, buy a sandwich or contemplate your new car purchase. Are you getting something meaningful from these brands? Do they enrich your life? There are rewards for choice that are beyond a “get one free” offer and consumers have powerful new options to interact with brands that serve them best.
Marketers must always be listening and delivering more than monetized rewards for loyalty. We must deliver consumer defined value and continue to nurture relationships and earn trust. We’re not driving loyalty anymore, we’re creating brand-bonds.
And, those everyday brand habits? I’d like to think they’ll be replaced with personal, relevant choices that give us meaningful moments of satisfaction. That’s better than a free burger any day.