Thursday, May 20, 2010

Switch Brand Selection with Shopper Anxiety

Have you noticed how brand loyalty is fairly low these days? Certainly, there’s been some drop in customer commitment to both brands and stores because of a dramatic rise in price sensitivity among consumers. But retailer attention to brand loyalty covers almost the entire history of retailing.
     If you get tuned into when a customer’s brand loyalty is low, it opens opportunities for you to switch the customer to a brand that better fits their needs and better helps your store’s bottom line. Yes, there are what consumer behavior experts call “fortress brands.” These are the ones which win deep allegiance from the consumer by becoming highly integrated into daily rituals—including quite mundane routines. Brushing my teeth doesn’t feel right unless the taste of the paste and the look and feel of the tube are familiar.
     A force operating on the other side is a drive we all have to try alternatives. For some shoppers, the drive comes from wanting to lead a fashion. For some, it’s a spirit of thrift plus curiosity to see if the house brand really is as good as the name brand. For all of us, it’s the pioneering spirit we carry in our genes. Venturing boldly where we have not gone before may seem better suited to Star Trek interstellar voyages than to a choice of toothpaste, but the basic principle is the same.
     Research by a team in Belgium suggests that the itch to switch is strongest when the customer is anxious to fill a need. Your salespeople might be assuming that the customer who is most anxious to solve a problem is the one least flexible about considering different brands. The truth is that customer anxiety might be the perfect cue for the salesperson to explore alternative solutions with the customer.

No comments:

Post a Comment