The golden chalice of any business is having raving fans who return time after time to enjoy the great experience of a good service or product. More than that, these customers exude positive messages to their contacts about their experience thereby inviting more customers and hopefully more raving fans.
But how many businesses enjoy customer loyalty and how much effort goes into winning and protecting this loyalty.
As the title of this article implies I question the existence of customer loyalty on the basis of no matter how generic or specialist a product or service is the user has unique associations with it. These associations can be belief-led, historic, cultural, aesthetic, indeed anything that motivates the individual to become a consumer/customer. Overlay these associations with individual experiences of the product or service and the result is a myriad of reasons to buy and sensitivity to change.
The marketers role in trying to hold this loyal audience is understanding the equity of the product. Tampering with the marketing mix can be a costly business; inevitably this is as likely to break the positive product associations amongst consumers as it is to give others the motivation to buy.
At WDG we have used Customer Experience days and Customer Journey models with clients as varied as high street banks to the automotive industry to demonstrate the importance in understanding the many associations customers have with their brands and products. Marketing to customer segments is often a far less risky strategy than developing a catch-all campaign which alienates the would-be loyal.
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