IN SUMMARY: According to Bob Hoffman “despite all the claptrap of marketing quacks, here on planet earth, consumers mostly don’t give a flying shit about most of the brands they buy. As I’ve said about a million times (and Prof. Byron Sharp has said much more articulately in his book, How Brands Grow) most of what we call “brand loyalty” is simply habit, convenience, mild satisfaction or easy availability”. But is this really true?
Recently Havas did a study of 350,000 consumers’ attitudes toward 1,800 different brands in 31 countries. The results were released last week. Consumers said they would not care if 77% of brands disappeared tomorrow. OK, that may be true in the supermarket but it’s not true for a LOT of other products.
I am a very loyal customer to brands like Trek bikes, Subaru cars and Paradigm speakers. When I go shopping in the market, yes believe it or not men do go shopping in the market, my brand loyalty IS spotty. I only pick up a certain brand of frozen pizza, lemonade, and toothpaste.
Mr. Hoffman does make a lot of sense but he is a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to advertising. It’s true that most people don’t want to have a relationship with a brand beyond buying a good product but over time what has been missing, in branding, is the focus at retail. Too many brands focus on big data and AI which is useless for helping sell products.
Yes, some brands are purchased for convenience but that’s a failure of marketing. One of the reasons Kraft-Heinz has declined so much is that people feel catsup is catsup and mayonnaise is mayonnaise. Store brands have leveraged the inability of brands to