Encouraging 'switch' amidst fierce Brand Loyalty

Getting a pub goer to give up his favourite pint of lager for another tipple is part of a larger problem. That is, how does a marketer vanquish Brand Loyalty? Such fierce loyalty is generally seen in Lifestyle product categories, where the brand transcends its physical entity to turn into a symbolic expression.

How did cider brands such as Magners and Bulmers have huge impact in pubs and bars, where brown bottles take pride of place in fridge displays? The success of these brands can be attributed to successful word-of-mouth and field marketing with brand ambassadors, whose work involves speaking to landlords and drinkers, handing out samples and encouraging trial.

The lesson here?

In categories where brands command fierce loyalty, 'switch-encouragement' must emanate from non-conventional media sources. The one who can prod the trial of a new drink has to be a good friend. And that friend in turn could have only tried the new drink the first time around if he were to have been handed out samples with an incentive to get him to try. Again, the precursor to sampling must involve an effort to 'expose' the user to the new brand. Mass Media surely can be used during brand launch. But what's critical, is to ensure the brand finds place on shelves or bar counters where the user notices it. Maybe this can even arouse curiosity resulting in trial. The barman (retailer) too can play a role in 'recommendations' as he is perceived as credible.

Mass media campaigns rarely provoke switches in categories where brand loyalty runs deep. It would take non-interruptive credible communiques to pull of the 'switch' job.


Popular Posts