Is brand loyalty dead?

Loyalty is dead. Nobody owes brands anything and it’s time to face facts.

Back in 1920 the life expectancy of businesses was 67 years. Now we are looking at 15 years according to the Yale School of Management. In the past 20 years there has been a huge fear culture in change, many businesses have opted for safe marketing that mimics their competitors and ‘fits in’. There are many factors that contribute; regulatory restrictions, the availability of design and the rotation of staff to name a few. Millennials are changing jobs every 2 years on average and with tightening regulatory and average design, it’s easy to see why brand loyalty is in the decline.

Opting for trend based marketing restricts the progression of businesses and creates greater opportunity for those that create a point of difference. If you look at how Innocent drinks entered the market with exceptional design, they gained emotional connections with consumers. This has seen them take an 80% share of the UK smoothie drinks market while sticking to their points of difference of innovation, emotional engagement and exceptional design.

A recent example is the launch of Seedlip Distilled Non-Alcoholic drinks into the “Non-Alcoholic Spirits” category. They have opened the door to new innovations in a let’s face it, empty category. Seedlip have a sophisticated, exceptional brand that has been crafted with elegance and complexity to rival the spirits category leaders. Although the “Non-Alcoholic Spirits” category itself needs further scrutiny to build consumers trust, its progression has been remarkable.

The point I was making was simple, design needs to be exceptional on every level. Nobody remembers ordinary. I’ve watched household brands take on-board junior in-house designers to replace agencies and packaging being produced from powerpoint presentations. Designers roles have become less and less important in the eyes of brand managers, but now more than ever design can make the biggest impression on consumers.

‘Good’ design is expected at every level but exception design can make a real difference.



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