In recent times, brands’ marketing strategies have shifted focus from direct sales to relationships and value creation directly linked to brand loyalty. It has, therefore, become natural for marketers and brand managers to treat brands as having both a rational and an emotional component. In turn, this has contributed to creating more complex surroundings, especially for marketers and brand managers confused about the necessary components to encourage customer loyalty.
Last August, two major fast-food chains, Domino’s and Pizza Hut, took their food wars to another level by giving a total of 110,000. Pizza Hut started the craziness after it announced its Golden Giveaway to celebrate 50 years of operating in Australia. “10,000 for each decade!” read the promotional material. But just the next day, Domino’s upstaged its rival with its own “120K giveaway”, starting one day earlier and handing out 10,000 more pizzas. In an act meant to supersede Pizza Hut’s massive anniversary giveaway, Domino’s gave away 60,000 free pizzas and donated $60,000 to charity.
For brand managers, it can be somewhat unclear how brands can easily ‘breakthrough’ to transform brand awareness to customer commitment and loyalty to a specific product. Customers might appreciate specific products for the value or experience, but intense market competition also calls for companies to keep them engaged and interested. Simple strategy companies leverage: giveaways, social media contests, Q & As, which marketers execute daily, weekly, annually, or during special occasions to attract new customers.
“It’s a low-hanging fruit that, if executed effectively, would look great in a quarterly report. When brand managers are constantly pressured to deliver quick wins, the easiest route becomes very attractive. But a strategy to build or improve brand loyalty is a long-term game that covers factors like values, trust, brand experience and perceived quality”.