Brand switching is when a brand loses a customer who was previously loyal. This is different from a customer who simply doesn't care about brands in a particular category such as a customer who buys a different brand of bottled water every week. Brand switching occurs when a customer previous preferred a brand and changes their mind. The following are common types of brand switching.
AvailabilityA customer finds their favorite brand difficult to find and switches to a brand that is available where they shop.
Customer ExperienceA customer prefers a brand until they have a bad experience with it. For example, a customer who prefers a hotel chain until experiencing poor customer service.
ChangeA product or service changes or adds new features that don't appeal to the customer. It is common to prefer a brand for its predictability, stability and usability.
CuriosityA customer becomes bored with a brand or its products and feels like exploring new options.
NeedsA customer's needs change. For example, a fashion brand known for outlandish fashions that appeals to women in their early 20s may expect many customers to switch when they begin a career and require a more conservative look.
PerceptionsA customer who previously identified with a brand based on factors such as brand image, brand culture, company values or product style changes their mind based on new information. For example, a snowboarder who likes a brand for its backcountry image may change her mind after seeing that inexperienced snowboarders on the slopes commonly wear the same brand.
ReputationThe social status of a brand declines due to factors such as the poor behavior of its leadership, declining customer service or sustainability practices.
Competition A competitor begins to replace a brand's position in the market with a more compelling offer. For example, a brand of organic food that is able to wrap products in stories about how food is produced may be able to replace brands that simply slap an organic certification mark on products.
PricingCustomers who replace a brand they prefer with a cheaper brand because its products are similar enough. This can work the other way as customers may switch brands when they can afford more expensive products.
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