The other day I conducted a little thought exercise, and it brought me back to a question that often comes up in my line of work: the fleetingness of brand loyalty in the age of marketing message saturation and the daunting challenge for brand managers and other decision-makers whose livelihoods depend on the existence of such loyalty among their customers. Happily for those who walk the brand beat, there is a ray of hope in this otherwise cautionary tale.
Olay, Nivea, Neutrogena and L’Oreal are all established beauty products brands with a broad array of medium-priced product lines and multiple product offerings in each. More to the point, for purposes of this thought exercise of mine, is that each of them offers a range of good quality facial cleansers, a product I buy on average about once every two months. The exercise was to determine what, if any, brand loyalty existed in my facial cleanser purchases over the last 2 years. The answer appeared to be: none. Nada. At some point over those past 24 months and (give or take) 12 purchases, my domestic shelf space has been occupied by at least one representative facial cleanser SKU from each of those brands. I wondered why this was the case. And then I remembered that it was not always thus. Long ago (more years than I care to disclose) there was a rather splendid product by Neutrogena called the Facial Cleansing Bar. Continue reading