Marketing myopia is dead

 If consumers and shoppers love brands, why are they buying so many private label products or shopping at discounters where many of these brands aren’t available? The truth is most people don’t care about most brands. In Havas Media’s Meaningful Brands UK Report, most people would not care if 74% of brands disappeared completely (a number rises to a staggering 94% in the UK, where discounters are grabbing share rapidly. Do marketers believe their customers care about their brands that much?

Brands need to work hard to keep consumers from switching brands, with more than one in three consumers (35%) frequently trying new vendors and brands and having no problem switching from a brand they have used previously.

 Private labels in retail have been steadily on the rise. In the past, private label products were associated with low quality and prices, but this is no longer the case. Consumers have rejected the stigma of private label products and have recognized that private-label quality levels are much higher and more consistent than ever before. This has significantly shifted buying behavior, even replacing the national brands that consumers have favored for years. 

Almost one-fifth of consumers rely more on private-label products than before the pandemic, and 52% said they expect to continue purchasing private-label brands once the pandemic subsides.

Does this mean branding is dead? It does mean, in my opinion, that too many brands have overestimated their brand equity and the willingness of consumers to switch brands because of price and shrinkflation.

I can’t tell you how many clients send me tons of documents on their brand strategies that are flawed. They overestimate their brand’s value to consumers who want a good product at a fair price. There are very few companies, like Apple, who can market flawed products and still retain customers. Brands are more important to the marketing department than to consumers.

Does this mean branding is dead? No, not at all. It does mean that branding needs to evolve as consumers have evolved. A barometer of consumers shows they are angry. The media has done a great job of fanning the fires of discontent. They’re mad at rising prices, they’re angry at product shortages, and they’re angry that politicians continue to go against their wishes (i.e., prescription drug prices). It doesn’t take much to turn them off your brand, and even the best marketing can’t compensate for rising prices and record profits.

My advice to marketers is to develop a strategy that includes feedback from current and former customers. You need to take the pulse of your customers and, more importantly, be ready to act to market changes more quickly.

Too many CEOs are asking marketing to do the impossible; make up for bad business decisions. Consumers are more intelligent and won’t fall for marketing myopia anymore.

Marketing myopia is dead

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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