Small Business Marketing: How to Avoid Brand Switching

how to avoid brand switching Brand switching  in some ways it is almost inevitable as that is what makes competition. While one company is trying to keep customers, another is trying to lure them. Getting into the mind of a consumer is with social media has become easier with brand mentions, conversation and monitoring but it still does not penetrate enough into what makes and/or continues to make a consumer choose Brand A over Brand B.  In certain instances the consumer refuses to brand switch by not even be willing to look at another choice as we all have certain brands that we will not stray from. We know from this blog that I will not stray from Heinz Ketchup, Vlasic Pickles, Diet Pepsi which of course there are more but what makes me as a consumer or any consumer not brand switch or even deeper what makes us brand switch on certain items but not others?

How to Avoid Brand Switching

1. Price. Price matter regardless if it  is high or  low.  Is price a driving force?  Or does perceived value play more of a role? Perception. Is your offering whether it be product or service best priced for the value? Does that even matter when determining price? As a company, your value has to  exceed expectations so that consumers ignore price.

2. Increased Risk. What is the perceived risk of switching? For a loyal customer a lot but for those on the fence you have to create the perceived risk.  As a company you *know* that you have  a better product but is the competitor able to connect with the consumer to resolve or eliminate the increased risk of switching?

3. Keep the Habit. Habits are within us but when it comes to purchasing power we tend not look at it as a habit. Habits are our worst competitor as habits that can be broken; or not. Loyalists are habitual people. They buy from you because either they always have or the alternative is not an option. Habit.

4. Customer Relationship Management. How often do you talk to your customers? Good ones, a lot but what about the people who are 90-120 days out or more? Natural reaction is to send them an incentive to buy … well, what about not sending them an incentive to buy but more of a reminder that you are there and offering them a chance to buy at full price? Changes the game a bit but sending them something without an offer of discount turns into return customers as now they are “off the priority list.”

As always there are so many more ways to retain customers with great products, awareness, mentions, customer service but these are the staples.  Think of the staple removers and how customers think and how you can brand your brand.  As a company think of the brands that you a loyalist to and ones you switch to. Why do you switch and then look to see if there is anything inside of your offering that would sway people to switch.

How do you avoid brand switching?

photo credit: swissmiss

  • This is something I've been thinking about lately. I'm a massage therapist and people tend to not want to change therapists. It is a very intimate relationship you build with a therapist, so most people are reluctant to 'dump' the current one and look for another. I'm trying to develop ways to get clients to switch brands to me and I've been thinking about the “Habits are our worst competitor” ideas since the post came out. You've now just thrown another huge thing to think about with the 'don't offer them a discount – they are now off the priority list' idea. My knee jerk reaction to bring people back is to offer a coupon, but if they are only coming back for the discount, I'm now back to competing on price. Do I really want customers who only come to me when my services are on sale? Or would I rather reward the customers who I see regularly by offering them a big discount once in a while?

    There's a lot to think and strategize about in here. Thanks!

  • Kelli

    Many will say to coupon/discount to get them in and once they experience your services they will want to stay. It is not always like that. In massage therapy it is like you said to have a knee jerk reaction to discount but let's switch this around. Why reward a new customer with a discount when your loyalists are paying full price each time? I think that rewarding your regulars for certain holidays, birthdays, etc is going to make them talk about you to their friends and when their friends realize that their therapist does not reward them you could see some movement. Yes luring in new customers is always needed but at the same time like you said do you only want them because your services are on sale. Do they value the service at full price?

    Just curious if there is someone like a manicurist or a hairdresser that you could partner with for a special occasion where they get both services at a slight discount as like a pampering day. Logistically it may not work but a thought to try and reward customers.

  • This is something I've been thinking about lately. I'm a massage therapist and people tend to not want to change therapists. It is a very intimate relationship you build with a therapist, so most people are reluctant to 'dump' the current one and look for another. I'm trying to develop ways to get clients to switch brands to me and I've been thinking about the “Habits are our worst competitor” ideas since the post came out. You've now just thrown another huge thing to think about with the 'don't offer them a discount – they are now off the priority list' idea. My knee jerk reaction to bring people back is to offer a coupon, but if they are only coming back for the discount, I'm now back to competing on price. Do I really want customers who only come to me when my services are on sale? Or would I rather reward the customers who I see regularly by offering them a big discount once in a while?

    There's a lot to think and strategize about in here. Thanks!

  • Kelli

    Many will say to coupon/discount to get them in and once they experience your services they will want to stay. It is not always like that. In massage therapy it is like you said to have a knee jerk reaction to discount but let's switch this around. Why reward a new customer with a discount when your loyalists are paying full price each time? I think that rewarding your regulars for certain holidays, birthdays, etc is going to make them talk about you to their friends and when their friends realize that their therapist does not reward them you could see some movement. Yes luring in new customers is always needed but at the same time like you said do you only want them because your services are on sale. Do they value the service at full price?

    Just curious if there is someone like a manicurist or a hairdresser that you could partner with for a special occasion where they get both services at a slight discount as like a pampering day. Logistically it may not work but a thought to try and reward customers.

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  • I promote a product that has a global brand name attached to it. Diving into small niches and looking for slight differences has helped in the past. I never thought about breaking the buying habits of my customers, thanks for the insight!

  • Someone is always waiting in the wind to grab your customers. Once they are able to make an impact and change the way that your customer buys, they have the first step if getting that customer to switch. Performance of the product comes into play and if it meets or exceeds the cust expectations many times the only thing left to do is wave goodbye and start trying to lure them back.

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  • Thank you so much for great post.. Lots of useful info here. I am sending it to several friends also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you for your effort!