Brand loyalty gone mad

Building brand loyalty is right up there when it comes to company strategy and vision.

Having a great brand and winning customers over is tough, but ensuring those customers continue to love the brand and remain loyal is even tougher.

Iconic consumer brands such as Chanel No 5 perfume and Guinness beer cracked it years ago, in the 1920s, and are still much-loved today. Whereas many of the newer kids on the block – Aldi, Netflix, TikTok, Zoom, etc – may be doing well now but will they still be here and loved in decades to come?

On the flipside, loving a brand too much can be equally challenging and even damaging.

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola recently announced it was changing the name of Lilt to Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit. No big deal you’d think as the contents are unchanged – still the same fizz and ‘totally tropical’ taste. But no, people are in uproar and brand loyalty has gone mad.

Lilt was launched nearly 50 years ago in 1975. Those who remember its arrival and associate it with their childhood are devastated at the news. I was born and grew up in the 1970s and clearly recall it. (Just like I remember the technology back then and thank goodness that has moved on!) The fact Coca-Cola has decided it’s time for a change is fine with me. Better a name change than a name drop by removing it from the shelves completely.

As I understand it, the decision is a commercial one. By absorbing Lilt into the successful Fanta family rather than pushing it as a separate brand will save marketing and manufacturing resources and budgets. Makes perfect sense in these testing times.

The moral of the tale? By all means love your brands (Chanel No 5 for me every time) but keep it in perspective if they reinvent. It is just a product after all…


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Claire Dee

Director and founder of business consultancy Claire Dee Communications.

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