Why do people switch brands?


It is the alteration in purchasing behaviors, practices, and decisions of customers by diverting their usual brand choices with any other available brand which can happen by price sensitivity, novelty to innovations and improvements, perceived risks, and breaching of buying frequency, etc. Today in this digitally changing world marketers are ongoing through an uphill struggle to interpret the reasons for this. It happens globally and in almost every industry known, causes are variable depending on product category and service sectors. Now, we often understand a few theories by understanding their opposing postulates. For instance, in order to understand brand switching we also need to know what opposes it? What happens if consumers do not switch?. The answer is ‘brand loyalty. It refers to a higher positive association and commitment with a brand that makes consumers buy a particular product repetitively. It is interesting to note that brand switching criteria do not affect consumers’ purchase decisions as they largely found switching to be an impulsive phenomenon. Let Logozila help you in tackling this dilemma.

Causes of Brand switching: 

There are several causes that account for brand switching among consumers. Now, there are two ways, either we can start listing them down and explaining them further or an easier way to grasp a comprehensive insight into consumers’ brand switching behavior is to divide these causes or factors into three categories of variables. We will opt for the latter. 

1. Consumer variable: 

Customer variables include demographics and other factors that influence background characteristics. They targeted each product category towards a particular chunk of the entire population depending on ‘demographic transition theory. It states that as people progress from one developmental stage to another, their preferences, expectations, and interests change with time. There are a few factors that cause brand switching because of the background characteristics of our consumer market such as; age, income, gender, and education. 

It is important for mobile phone providers to investigate the relationship between demographic factors and brand switching among their customers. Because the context switching of a cellular network for millennials is entirely different from that of Generation X, Y, or Z.

Hence, demographics, age, income, and education all play a role in altering brand choices. Gender does also come into play where the need for involvement in a buying decision changes regarding gender. For instance, women  get highly involved while buying brands that are extensions of their lifestyles. They weigh and think critically before buying a certain nail color, and makeup products. But on the whole, gender does not predict actual switching behavior since it’s inconsistent. 

2. Control variable: 

Marketing mix (all Ps of a product category) and actions are variables that are more or less workable for the firm to control on both a long-term and short-term basis. That is why this variable is of the utmost attention to all the leading industries. It includes the price-value comparison, customer service, brand fatigue, adaptation to innovation and technology, value of money, marketing communication, 

Value of money; For instance, if I were to buy a fresh pair of jeans and my concern in this purchase is the level of comfort and utility it gives then I can buy a branded or an unbranded pair of jeans no matter what. It does not matter how costly Levi’s jeans are to a customer; as long as he can afford it, he will buy them. However, the same customer is not likely to choose jeans that are unbranded at any cost. Because Levi’s jeans are a status symbol. And brand loyal customers do not switch their brands often. So, you need to assure them of their value of money by what you deliver. Help your customers choose between why this and why that is not?

Marketing mix: It is in one of the most important variables. Here we have to find the best fit between all the Ps of a product’s marketing mix that is in integration with all the external and internal factors as well. There are many product managers who have brought the right product to market, but failed to put the right amount of firepower into taking the product to market success, and give little attention to the product’s distribution channels. When in product especially mobile phones category if you are not in harmony with the rising technology and innovations you will be a story of the past.

For instance, an example here is BlackBerry in smartphones. They were once the best in the smartphone market. As more brands entered the market during time, they suffered because they failed to focus on innovation adoption. In today’s world, BlackBerry is nonexistent. According to Gartner, the company had 0% market share for the fourth quarter of 2016. 

What shall we do now?

For every industry, retaining customers is always a greater task than acquiring new ones. Brand managers, product specialists, and consumers behavior experts need to give a wholesome amount of attention to this rapidly changing phenomenon by critically analyzing all three variables in their product’s context to deal with and fight with the changing behaviors of their consumers.

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