The Absolute Truth About Marketing
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
  Brand loyalty is bullshit, love
I sit in meetings. I hear people talking about loyalty. Ugh!
Brand loyalty is a figment of the imagination of marketers – a wet dream. It starts in the mind of the young marketing executive who falls in love with their brand. And why not? They live it 24 hours a day. It means more to them than a football follower’s favourite team. Because it is their livelihood, their future, their identity … and they become dislocated in their thinking. They can’t understand how anyone could not love their brand. They can’t understand what sort of evil gets into those who choose their competitors’ brands. And they believe those who choose their brand think the same way they do. Brand loyalty, brand passion, brand love. But they are like young German troops invading France in WWII and seeing the normally passionately-free French giving the Nazi salute as they marched on by and not seeing the guns behind their backs. Deluded.

Brand loyalty is a behaviour. Consumers can be brand loyal for many reasons other than love. (Some idiot calls brands “love marks” – only an adman could be so foolish.) Fear is a stronger motivator than love. Habit and inertia drive more buying decisions than love. But it is easy to delude marketing executives that their brand loyals love their brand. They might hate it, but there is nowhere else to go.
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