Summary: The idea that consumers form emotional bonds with brands is dated. Consumers want a good product at a good price and by the way private label products are taking more share.
“The emotional attachment of brands”. I keep hearing that, but some recent research we did for a client indicates that the emotional attachment is a canard, especially for Millennials. The standard for brand switching is no longer the failure of a brand to perform, but rather its inability to seem like an entirely new and interesting option at every single purchase cycle.
Consumers are not inclined to be loyal to brands as they once were because the underlying value of loyalty itself is no longer particularly relevant in fact, there is some evidence to suggest that brand loyalty is dying—for example, 90 percent of common household goods brands are losing market share.
In other recent research, many felt it wasn’t necessary to have an emotional connection with a brand, ranking the importance of such a 4.2 out of 10. Why is this happening?
1ne: Consumers are getting smarter than brands and realize that it’s all about money and profits to most companies.
2wo: Too many brands talk the talk, but behind the scenes, they all about their huge corporations.
3hree: Price increases have become standard, while consumers take home pay has remained flat.
4our: Private label has really expanded and given consumers more choices.
Does this mean all emotional branding is moot? No, but marketers have to understand what is really driving consumers to become customers.
Our research found that the vast majority of Millennials have not formed emotional bonds to brands and that they would switch if there was a better alternative. However, older consumers do tend to stay with brands they know, but it’s out of convenience more than any other brand aspect.
As one Millennial told us “I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to form an attachment to my breakfast burritos”.