When it comes to the consumption of products that have substitutes, the majority of people do not care which brand they get as long as it gets the job done. Some consumers don’t even know the brand they’re using or call the products with the name of the first product introduced to the market such as Omo and Highland water.
During the Derg regime, the supply of either Coca-Cola or Pepsi products were not constant and people did not know which product was available from this week to the next, deferring to call them soft drinks. Companies don’t get to build their brand because they are not consistent enough on whatever they are doing.
Businesses will not have a lasting brand loyalty if they fail to meet customer expectations, have poor customer service, lacks unique relevance to consumers, and if the pricing is not right.
Due to various reasons, businesses all over the world find it difficult to provide the exact same product each and every time. Not being able to provide the product or service will damage the brand businesses are trying to build, if they’re trying to build one. Similarly in Ethiopia, the majority of businesses face the same problems.
Customers that are loyal to a brand will continue to buy it regardless of convenience or pricing. These devoted consumers have found a product that satisfies their needs and they have no desire to try another brand.
The majority of established brand name items exist in a highly competitive market crowded with new and old competing products, many of which are barely distinguishable. As a result, businesses use a variety of strategies to build and retain their customers. They spend their advertising resources on messages that target a section of the market which includes retaining their customers and attracting new ones from business similar to them.
The beer industry has a stronger brand loyalty than other industries. This can be clearly seen by consumers of BGI Ethiopia’s, St. George beer. This product line has been running for about a century consistently and has consumers from different age groups, all loving it equally, because of different ways the brand has affiliated itself with consumers.
In order to build the brand loyalty culture, people have to increase their consumption level to make businesses care for and capture more customers. It is difficult for businesses to invest whatever is needed, to only get a handful of consumers at the end of the line. This will change as years go by and the purchasing power of people increases.
Businesses can build their brand loyalty through delivering quality and value, talking to clients/customers regularly, being consistent, becoming known in the community and providing an (unexpected) incentive.
(Kibur Kibret is a Business Developer)
Contributed by Kibur Kibret