I originally drew a version of this cartoon back in 2005 and it’s still one of my more frequently licensed and referenced cartoons. I wanted to redraw it in color and because my drawing style has evolved.
Brand loyalty is more fickle than many marketers imagine it. Marketers often overestimate the role of consumer brands in consumers’ lives. In the world of FMCG, consumers are generally loyal to a repertoire of brands, not to a single brand.
This overinflated conception of brand loyalty can lead marketers to focus too much on current customers than on attracting new ones. In 2010, Byron Sharp rattled a lot of firmly held beliefs in marketing with his book, “How Things Grow”. He asserted that brand penetration is much more important than brand loyalty.
As Byron Sharp put it at an event last year, “We are loyal switchers. We don’t feel disloyal to Kellogg’s if we buy another cereal.”
Yet brand positioning statements are often written as if consumers constantly think and obsess about the brand. Social media from brands can make it sound like every consumer is a cult follower.
Here are a few more cartoons I’ve drawn over the years on the topic of keeping brand loyalty in perspective.