Brands that are considering changing their straplines should first carry out market research to increase the likelihood of customers staying loyal to the company, according to market research tools provider, Cint.
A company’s slogan reflects what the brand stands for and enables customers to identify its values. It is expected that retailers live up to whatever they promise – for example, UK retailer John Lewis’s customers understand that the brand is ‘never knowingly undersold’. Therefore, when looking to refresh a strapline, brands must be aware that existing consumers will have certain expectations and, consequently, seeking their opinion is vital.
Simply altering a slogan that customers have learnt to trust could have a detrimental effect. It may remove the ability for consumers to connect with the brand and even a small change could lead to a large change in the market position of the business. Shoppers need to have confidence in brands and without asking for their opinion on changes, a brand could be doing more harm than good.
The Co-operative Group, the UK’s largest mutual retailer, is currently in the process of piloting a new strapline, ‘Good for Everyone,’ in selected food stores; it was decided that its ‘Good with Food’ slogan did not appropriately cover all aspects of the company, which include banking, travel, funeral services, as well as supermarkets.
Chief executive of Cint, Bo Mattsson, comments: “When considering a strapline change, it is necessary for decision makers to view initial research as an investment rather than an expense. Shoppers are becoming increasingly savvy, therefore brands should take every necessary step to instill a sense of confidence and reassure customers that their values and culture remain of the utmost importance. Any changes that might affect this confidence require a degree of market intelligence in order to maintain that sense of trust and rapport between brand and consumer.
“Furthermore, testing ideas and carrying out consumer research is an effective way of putting a brand name at the forefront of consumers’ minds. When a customer knows that their opinion is valued and could influence the outcome of a brand’s future, it has the potential to lead to steadfast loyalty and, therefore, an increase in purchases by those shoppers.”