Thursday, 28 March 2013

brand loyalty

I’m really interested in the concept of brand loyalty and the debate as to whether or not it actually exists. I thought I’d take a look into why I’m a massive fan of Sainsbury’s to find out where this affiliation stems from. I really do love Sainsbury’s, ask anyone.

Bonding with my dad - The ‘Big Shop’ in Camden? A nice sentimental idea and although the Supermarket Sweep-like run to get the things left on the list once we reached the end is a fond memory, it could, in theory have been any supermarket and this memory is specifically attached to the Camden Sainsbury’s, not to Sainsbury’s as a brand.

Is it Jamie Oliver’s perky little face? Unlikely.
Is it because I want to Live Well for Less? I love a bargain as much as the next person and fall time and time again for the age old 2 for 1 offers but we all know that Sainsbury’s is not the most “cost effective” way to do the groceries. Also, Try Something New Today is always the tagline that I associate with Sainsbury’s mostly due to it’s epic planning tale of how it came to be.

Is it the soothing satisfaction I get from systematically winding up and down each isle? Do I have a particular affinity with the colour orange? Is it because they “made reusable bags sexy” (their words)? Love me a bit of CSR but again, not enough to pick one brand in favour of another. Is it because I fit into their target audience of Female AB 25-34 35-44? Well, it may be a factor, what kind of strategist would I be if I belittled the importance of having a clear idea of who your audience is.

My feeling is that it’s convenience over brand loyalty. Wherever I move to it tends to be the closest supermarket. I may begrudge having to go to Tesco’s if I moved somewhere where it was closer but the fact is that that sentiment probably wouldn’t last that long and I would adapt, shifting my Nectar card to the back of my wallet.

It also seems to be about managing expectations and sticking with what you know. As Rory Sutherland (yes - referencing Rory again) points out; people don’t want the best hamburger in the world, they want the hamburger that is just like the hamburger they had the last time.