Today's consumers get exactly what they want, exactly when they want it.
Loyalty is all but dead because demanding consumers, powered by the internet and enabled by mobile devices, can always find... or should I say are continuously offered... the best offer at the best price. Today Blacks learned that lesson the hard way.
Consumers have immediate, detailed access to the best offers in the market. Consequently, innovators and startups with new products and new ideas are stealing customers and winning business.
What it means for established businesses (especially retailers like Blacks) is that they need to not only keep up with product development and new market offerings, they need to jump ahead and anticipate consumer needs before someone else does. In short, they need to give their consumers a reason to stay. They need to create that thing that no one else has.
To their credit, Blacks invested heavily 13 months ago in a rich rebranding effort that included a revamped logo, website, mobile app and store design. The problem, though, is that none of those things are unique. None of them would create any loyalty, which Blacks so desperately needed. The offer that came closest to something valuable enough to create loyalty was the mobile app, that allowed for prints and other photography-based products (like calendars) to be ordered and delivered. I'm sure you know where this is going...consumers already had apps just like that! What's worse is the length of time it took for the rebranding to fully reach the market. The refreshed store design didn't even happen in most stores before today's announcement.
The stark reality for Blacks is that they failed to create any compelling reason for today's high-maintenance consumers to stay.
So they left.
LESSON FOR MARKETERS:
This is perhaps the simplest, but yet most difficult, challenge for marketers. Create an offer than is unique enough and compelling enough to convince current customers to stay and prospective customers to switch. Much easier said than done, but if you can pull it off, prosperity awaits. Think iPod, RedBull, GoPro, Sharpie and Groupon.
What do you think happened to Blacks?
Target suffered the same fate for basically the same reason. Read about that here.
This blog is written by Glenn Cressman, Share Of Marketing's founder and Chief Share Builder (bio). It covers all things marketing. Feel free to comment!