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Loyalty Landscape: September 2014

September 30, 2014

Tastes Great! More Marketing! 

Loyalty to a favorite beer may be more a matter of marketing, not taste, according to a new study.

The Stockholm School of Economics set up a blind taste test among 138 volunteers between the ages of 21 and 70. The drinkers were asked to compare three European pale lagers: Budvar, Heineken and Stella Artois. They were given three beer samples, two of which were the same. When asked, they couldn't pick the odd one out.

The report, titled Hide the Label, Hide the Difference, reached this sobering conclusion: Our results suggest that brand loyalty in this market is likely to be driven largely by marketing and packaging and not by underlying sensory properties of the competing products.

The report also states drinkers may identify with the brand's suggested lifestyle or cultural identity rather than the worthiness of the beer's flavor. That could explain why The Most Interesting Man in the World as seen in Dos Equis commercials was recently spotted downing a Corona on a beach.

Positive and Negative Exercise Motivators: Guilt Is Good

Pavlok iPhone screenAn exercise app and a soon-to-be-introduced wearable device are taking drastically different approaches to getting users to work out.

Runkeeper, an app that helps users track their exercise habits, offers a rewards program that congratulates users for reaching certain accomplishments. At the end of a personal-best workout, users may get a reward such as a discount from Pebble, a smart watch designed to work with Runkeeper. They may also get offers from Propel Water or Procter & Gamble's Secret deodorant, among others.

Pavlok, a wearable fitness-tracking device available in 2015, also provides rewards to users who achieve their goals, but it has a darker side. Failing to meet self- imposed goals could mean paying money to another user, lost phone access or even a 340-volt electric shock. If that's not bad enough, Pavlok will also shame-post on the user's Facebook page that workouts are being missed.

Talk about shock and shame!

Target, Nordstrom Give Shoppers Instagramification

One aspect of attracting and maintaining a loyal customer base is adjusting to changing shopping habits. As more consumers make purchases through digital channels, Target and Nordstrom are turning to Instagram to tap into that ocean of opportunity.

The retailers are rolling out a service called Like2Buy, where merchandise is displayed in square photos like those on Instagram. Shoppers click on an image and are taken to that item's page on the retailer's website where they can immediately buy it. Shoppers can also use the My Likes function to store items to buy later.

We continue to hear from many of our customers that they want speed and convenience incorporated into all the places they shop,including our social platforms," Bryan Galipeau, social media director at Nordstrom, said in a press release.

Target and Nordstrom hope that many of the 200 million regular users Instagram claims to have will become loyal customers and click on links to their Like2Buy pages on Instagram. It could even lead to a trend of stylishly filtered.

Target Instagram