Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What does brand loyalty mean?

This week, the story is about Netflix, who lost 800,000 subscribers after raising subscription rates, splitting their streaming and DVD services and then changing their mind. Next week, a citizen-run social media campaign is encouraging Americans to switch their banks after several large banks announced new fees for debit transactions. (The group has over 25,000 Facebook fans, no less.) That's right, banks are now going to charge you to conveniently and safely access your money.

Marketers work to inspire brand loyalty amongst their customers. They try giving stuff away (I like money), funny commercials, contests, social media messaging is meant to sound hip and fun.

Our friends raved about Netflix. They had both DVD and streaming subscriptions, even if the streaming feature didn't offer much and you could only check-out a few DVDs at a time. As soon as prices jumped, so did they. And loudly.

One thing is clear: Just because a customer gives you money, even over a sustained time frame, today's consumers aren't loyal to your brand and are ready to jump if they feel taken advantage of. So, if a business relationship isn't the basis of brand loyalty, what is? What companies inspire you to keep your business? Why?

*Side note: Steve and I cancelled our Netflix subscription this month and we're loyal members of the ING nation, but probably not if they start charging fees.

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