Some business experts are certain they hear the death-knell of brand loyalty. With the proliferation of E-Commerce solutions and internet shopping, consumers have access to a breadth of product and price information, customer reviews, alternate brands and options like never before. And as former brand powerhouses continue to close brick and mortar storefronts, headlines shout out stories of impending doom.
It’s a growing concern discussed before on this blog. Recent surveys reveal that the relationship between companies and consumers has changed. Only 10% of buyers trust ads and only 33% of buyers trust a certain company brand. However, it’s hard to look at the global influence of Coca-Cola, Nike and McDonalds and sincerely believe brands are dying. So what’s going on?
New information technology is certainly shifting and consumer behavior. It’s a buyers’ market, sellers beware. But to believe brand loyalty is about to kick the bucket in not only a little preemptive, but flat out wrong.
As James Heskett, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School, explains in a recent article: “Customers will remain loyal to brands that meet their needs, regardless of the effects of new information technologies on their general knowledge about products and services. But new information technologies will punish weak brands faster and more severely than in the past.”
Brand loyalty is becoming more important than ever before and it’s all centered on the customer experience. Companies that do more than just meet, but exceed customer expectations, will stand out amongst the sea of information and offers. Positive customer experiences are a valuable resource in the age of information because 92% of consumers other trust buyers’ opinions before anything else.
The result has been a greater emphasis on customer centricity. In fact, some companies have even added a Chief Customer Officer to the C-suite. “A study found that 10% of Fortune 500 companies have already adopted the role, a percentage that jumps to 22% among the Fortune 100.” A push towards customer-centricity is a push towards the future.
Download The Customer-Led Revolution: 7 Ways to Connect with Customers, to understand ways in which you can improve your customer experience.