Have you noticed how much love some brands get from their customers?
Just think of the devotion that companies like Apple and Starbucks create. They really do have raving fans.
But what happens when the love affair ends and does it matter if the opposite of love is hate or indifference?
I think it does.
From Brand Love To Indifference Or Brand Hate?
When a customer’s love turns from love to indifference, they stop caring about your business, they stop buying and they stop giving word of mouth recommendations.
But when love turns to hate, the customer wants revenge. He or she wants to hurt you in any way they can and that may be through litigation or through negative word of mouth.
Brand Hate & Social Media – The Customer’s Revenge
Special websites have developed like RipoffReport.com where customers can tell the world about the false promises, rubbish products and lousy service.
The development of social media has made a dramatic difference to the power of negative word of mouth. people who hate a brand can find allies on Twitter and Facebook and a viral hate campaign can quickly spiral out of control.
What Drives Brand Hate?
Obviously you want to keep your customers in love with your brand but there are two big problems.
The first problem is rising expectations.
What you originally did to delight customers becomes expected. It becomes the norm and only creates satisfaction when it’s done in future – and if it isn’t done (for whatever reason), then it creates dissatisfaction.
The second problem is customers often love variety.
We want something new, exciting and different.
So we’ll stray.
We’ll visit that new restaurant, just to check out what it has to offer.
Th food may not be as good. The atmosphere may not be as friendly.
But it feels more exciting… less humdrum.
What To Do To Reduce The Risks Of Brand Hate
There are three important lessons – but doing all three may be difficult.
- Keep doing the stuff that customers love – it becomes expected.
- Raise your game – do what you do even better.
- Offer some new things so your customers get the variety and new experiences they crave.
Paul Simister is a business coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace.