By Lauren Liao
After years of ordering from drugstore.com, I recently ordered from a new, “rival” website, SOAP.com. Enticed by a direct mail coupon that said ”20% off your first purchase and free shipping,” I felt no guilt as I created a new SOAP.com account. However, it did make me think of how disloyal I’ve been to brands this year. And not just to any brands – brands with which I’ve had deep connections and longtime relationships.
Here is my 2010 ditch-list, and the brands I ditched them for:
• Asics for Mizuno: In the running community, individuals identify themselves as “An Asics person,” “A Nike person,” “An Adidas person,” and so on. Until recently, I’d been running in Asics for over 10 years. Buying shoes was always simple: I’d go to the shoe store, ask for my size, and then buy a pair without trying them on. However, there was a fateful day when the shoe store didn’t have my size in Asics, and – given that I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to go to another store – I was open to trying on a new brand. Since then, I’ve been a Mizuno person, 10 months and counting…
• Apple TV for Netflix: We’ve been downloading movies from Apple TV for 1.99 or 4.99 at a time, but now we’re hooked on Netflix’s streaming service that allows you to watch unlimited TV shows and movies for $7.99 a month. Amazing.
• Tampax for Seventh Generation: I may be getting a bit personal here, but yes, I recently left a trusted brand I had been using for 13 years for an un-proven, chlorine-free brand.
If you look at my list through a marketer’s eyes, it’s pretty scary. I’ve left brands that I’ve been loyal to for years, in matters of seconds. And scarier still, you can’t look at my list and say I’m driven by the lowest-price, or that I’m someone who is always trying new things. My list reflects today’s consumer reality: our values (and therefore drivers) evolve over time, we’re not predictable, we’re always looking for a better consumer experience, and we increasingly have greater choice in every category.
So what does this all mean for brands and brand-builders? It’s a reminder that we have to work just as hard at retaining existing consumers as we do trying to win new consumers. And that doesn’t mean, “Leave the brand alone.” It means investing in consumer insights and innovation.
Now that I’ve confessed my disloyalties, tell me: what brands have YOU ditched in 2010, and why?