Familiarity Nixes Contempt

I’m a little tardy in posting today and I apologize.  Funny how time slips away, as Willie would say.  In any event, I have a quick question for you and then a few data points you might find of interest.

What’s the most important factor in consumer thinking when buying electronics?  What influences the brand decision?  How about when buying clothing?  Do you think it’s the same as electronics?  Well, it is, and that factor is familiarity.  This is according to The NPD Group Brand Landscape Report and reported late last week.  Why do you care?

When the most important thing to consumers is that the product be the same brand as something they already own it’s pretty obvious that you need to be in the home to stay in the home.  It also speaks to permanence –  people don’t particularly like change.  Maybe it has to do with an acknowledgment that their last choice was a mistake (who likes to admit that??).  But how does this change our thinking with respect to the balance between customer acquisition and customer retention?  The study would sort of indicate that unless you screw up or are perceived to have lost value as a brand, it’s sort of like boxing:  the champ isn’t going to lose the title unless it’s a clear knockout or obvious decision.

The other term that keeps appearing on the most important factor lists no matter what the category of goods is “trust.”  What is also interesting (although not surprising) is that men and women rank the same factors in very different orders after the top one.  I guess today’s take away is that we need to speak differently to different audiences, we need to gain and maintain trust no matter what the audience, and once we’re in able to close a sale the focus needs to be reinforcing the wisdom of the purchase so that benefits continue to inure to the brand.  Pretty basic stuff but an excellent reminder to start the week.

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