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B2C? B2B? B2ME! The Beauty of Monogamous Marketing

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It happens all the time. You're ordering lunch and ask for a Diet Coke. Without missing a beat, your waitperson asks, "Is Diet Pepsi all right?"

This person is not a carbonated beverage expert. They may not have even waited tables for very long. But, whether they're an out-of-work actor, a grad student, or a retiree supplementing their Social Security, they have learned a thing or two about brand loyalty. Give a dedicated Diet Coke drinker a Diet Pepsi (or vice versa) without a proper warning and you could end up tip-less.

As silly as it may seem (just compare the nearly identical list of ingredients on two different cans of soda), some brands somehow warrant that level of fandom and devotion.

We think of it as "monogamous marketing." And, guess what? It's priceless.

Here in the Boston area, just try convincing a Dunks devotee to go to Starbucks instead. You'll have a wicked fight on your hands.

Brand loyalty is at its strongest when the customer has built an airtight emotional connection to a brand. It's not just products and services, it's about the customer's inner vision of the type of person they are. iPhones are more expensive than other smartphones of arguably the same quality and functionality. And, they tend to become obsolete faster. But, Apple has made gazillions of dollars selling their phones (and their tablets and their laptops) to people who self-identify as MacPeople.

Here are some brands that customers simply refuse to cheat on:

Apple
Peloton
Target
Nike
Amazon Prime
Ben & Jerry's
Coca-Cola
Nordstrom
Harley Davidson
Oprah
Panera
BMW

If you think about these brands, it's not difficult to describe their personality and what they stand for. You can also picture their typical customers, a group of like-minded individuals with whom people want to identify. Some brands (and the people who love them) become practically cultish. These are the people who become advocates as well as buyers, who engage across media, who are willing to try new things — but only if they're coming from that specific brand they've pledged their troth to.

Monogamous marketing is something to strive for (whether you have an Apple-sized budget or not). Show customers how much you care. Make love to them as often as possible (metaphorically-speaking). Listen, empathize, solve their problems, and help them enjoy their lives.

After all, loyalty is a two-way street.

And, yes, Diet Pepsi is fine.

 

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