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You raise some valid questions. I don't think brand loyalty is dying at all. Smart brands are finding ways, such as mobile (like you mentioned) to provide value. Value isn't always in terms of dollars. Digital and social have allowed us to form a tighter relationship with customers and potential customers, find out what their triggers are and reward them accordingly.
Retailers like Urban Outfitters and Aeropostale, which both are doing quite well and both continue to post increase in sales numbers, offer value. Sometimes it's price-based, other times it different forms of rewards. But both of these brands have a high sense of loyalty from their consumers. And now, they're both doing a great job leveraging technology to increase that loyalty.
Price is an easy excuse for people. People are, and always have been, willing to pay a premium for quality products and services. Think about it...if price was the absolute #1 driver, why do we still see SUVs driving on the road?
So no, brand loyalty is not dying. It's stronger, and more important to grasp, than ever before.
Yes, consumers don't want to be blatantly advertised to, people also appreciate relevancy. I don't follow PUMA to hear them talk about music all the time. I follow PUMA because I like their products, I want to hear about their products and I want to hear them engage with me about things I'm interested in. There needs to be a healthy mix. But keep in mind, people follow your brand because they like your brand. I've never followed a brand who's products I didn't like simply because they occasionally talked about basketball (a sport I enjoy).
What research are you using to classify this as a disaster? If you would have read articles about this, Rick Wion and the folks at McDonald's came out and said the "negative" tweets only made up 2% of total conversation. Hardly a disaster. We focus on the negative and are quick to label something a failure. I suggest doing more research.
P.S. I drove by McDonald's today and there were still cars in the drive-thru. Guess it wasn't as big of fail as people are making it out to be, huh?
I love Twitter -- it's by far my favorite social network. When done right, it's a gem.
However, while Twitter claims to have 200 million users, when you dig into the data, it's more along the lines of around 80 million or so active users (non-spam, non-duplicate, those who actually use it). Furthermore, the majority of the 80 million users are either brands or marketers/PR/journalists. You and I are talking to each other. We aren't talking to our customers. Finally, most of the content shared via Twitter is self-promoting and non-actionable.
The problem we have with Twitter is, us as active marketing and communications professionals, are using it on a daily basis and we assume everyone else is. We also take the few brands finding success and blanket their success across the entire platform. Very few brands can actually say they are finding true success on Twitter.
Again, I love Twitter. It's great. But I'm not sure if it'll be around 5 years from now. Facebook and more likely another "cool" tool will be. I'd put Twitter toward the bottom of the "food chain" myself.
I would rather have 100 loyal and paying customers than 1,000 "potential" customers or those there simply for discounts and freebies.
Read the Coca-Cola article in yesterday's Harvard Business Review -- it's about engagement, not simply counting impressions and numbers.
This might be the worst advice I've heard today. Social media is about numbers? This advice is what scares brands away. It's not about quantity. Quantity doesn't increase sales. Quantity doesn't develop brand loyalty. Please, stop with the "all about the numbers' thinking.