If you get the feeling consumer loyalty to brands is generally dropping, you may be on to something. The "switching economy" -- the revenue associated with consumers who switch among brands -- is growing, according to new Global Consumer Pulse Research from Accenture. Robert Wollan, Senior Managing Director at Accenture Strategy tells Marketing Daily, "Customer expectations continue to rise year after year, and companies have not been able to keep up."
Accenture suveyed global consumers. In the U.S., 56 percent of consumers said that, over the past ten years, they have considered significantly more brands for a given product or service. Of greater concern to marketers is that 46 percent said they’re more likely to switch brands than they were ten years ago.
One of the reasons may be simply that there are more choices as competition proliferates. But another key reason is the reality that consumers are not always happy with their selected brands. Things haven't changed much, either. For example, for the past six years, according to the survey, the top three consumer complaints have remained the same: "Failure to quickly resolve an issue, lengthy hold times, and interacting with representatives who cannot provide a solution."
Now here's the real red flag for brands: According to the survey, just 28 percent of consumers are loyal to their chosen brands and only 31 percent say they are willing to recommend those brands to others. Still, Wollan sees a silver lining in the consumer warning. “The traditional players have started to see where the chinks in the armor are, and they’re starting to address them,” says Wollan. “I think there’s a real opportunity for companies to step up and fix this [expectation] gap.”