Myths continue to abound that US car brands have suffered a collapse in loyalty. Marketers believe this because they don’t know about the law-like patterns governing loyalty metrics. Put simply, they don’t vary massively between brands, and the variation that does occur depends on marketshare. Detroit has lost share, but it would have had to lose almost all their market share in order for their repeat-rates to plumment. I published an article on this earlier this year, with empirical evidence. Detroit’s real problem is a lack of customer acquisition.
It’s important to know when consumers consume your brand. Do they use it largely for a morning snack or for sharing with friends ?
However, some marketers over estimate the degree to which their brand is confined to a particular situation, used for a particular purpose. Worse, they market in such a ways as to make it a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ hemming the brand into one situation through advertising nothing else.
In the same way that product categories can be too narrowly defined based on product features (e.g. the chocolate vs vanilla ice-cream categories), categories based on consumption situation can lull marketers into a false sense of limited competition. e.g. nonsense like “Kit-Kat doesn’t compete with Snickers because Kit-Kat is for taking a break whereas Snickers is to satisfy a hunger craving”.
The reality is that few brands are exclusively bought for specific consumption situations, and which brands are bought for which situation varies between consumers and over time.
Yes the same person in the same situation can choose different brands on different buying times.