Thursday, April 28

Breaking Up With A Brand

It used to be that we could "break up with a brand" anonomously.  We could just simply stop using a product and the brand would never know.  We could just basically stop "dating" without ever offending the brand.

With social media, those days are gone.

Between loyalty clubs, email subscriptions, Facebook likes, Foursquare checkins, and Twitter followers, our devotion to a brand is very public.  As is the rest of our lives I suppose.  And when we exit from that brand, well that's pretty public too.  Especially to the brand who is likely to be keeping a very close count of its social media numbers.

There's a great article here on the subject with some specific research findings that you might find interesting.

In a nutshell, we break up with brands because, well, "we're just not that into you anymore."  Think about your own behavior.  When we have a certain affinity for a brand, we click on its social media presence.  Then what happens?  In many cases:
- we start to get bombarded with messages constantly all day long
- OR we hear the same message over and over and over
- OR we rarely hear from the brand if ever
- OR we got what we wanted so we leave

So we opt-out, unlike, stop checking in, and unfollow.  Or worse yet, just simply ignore.  We break up with the brand.

From a marketing perspective, it's a lost opportunity.  Most consumers who consciously choose to engage with a brand really are looking to start a relationship.  They are looking to get something in return for their loyalty, looking for something to add value to their lives.

The brands that get it, do exactly that.  They engage with their consumers in multiple ways, understanding how their consumers live their lives and look to enrich it.  Brands that get it don't just bombard with coupons and offers, they engage in conversations about what's going on in the world, in their world.

How do they do this?  Well they don't just talk about themselves.  They provide meaningful information that makes "dating" interesting.  And then every once in awhile they throw in a promotional offer or two.  It's just like with people, we rarely like people who only talk about themselves.  It's much more engaging when a person mixes it up.  A little about me, a little about you, and a lot about other related topics.

Then, maybe then, the brand can keep the relationship alive and perhaps even grow it by getting "shares" with friends of friends.

What's your experience?  Jim.

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