Writing - Property & Shopping Centres

Rob Rodell

My book, "Brand Loyalty is Bullshit," will be launching soon. I will keep you posted!

Let’s assume on the off chance that you actually believe me (half my colleagues don’t). So there is no brand loyalty. Does that mean were all in deep trouble?

No. Loyalty as a concept may be dead, but branding is not, and with a small amount of strategic marketing knowledge and a bit of effort, you can already try to make a difference.

Also, loyalty may be dead, but brand preference and brand insistence are not. Let’s look at a brand from the mind of the consumer. First, they either know your brand (awareness) or not. If they don’t, then you still have the opportunity to make them aware. If they do know your brand but they reject it, then you need to try and find out why, and see if you can fix it. Example: Westgate has lost a lot of its high-end shoppers to Clearwater. Westgate is bigger, but Clearwater is a newer centre in an area that has newer homes and a more aspirant market. It is unlikely that Westgate will pull those high-end shoppers back. Solution: tenant mix, and effective marketing. Even though it’s a lot more complex, the idea is to create a balance between the market that you want and the market that you have. In the age of contemporary marketing and modern-day shopping centres, it’s also important to remember that marketing alone is not a panacea, and cannot be expected to fix all your centre’s ills.

If you are able to turn people who reject your brand into users, then the next step is to convert light users into heavy users, and then heavy users into users who either prefer the brand, or insist on it. This is much more difficult in large complex metropolitan markets, where there is more variety and choice, and therefore more competition. It’s like margarine: if there were two options from which to choose, then shoppers would choose whichever they felt best met their needs. But now that there are 20 variants, the finite number of shoppers is far more likely to switch brands and try new options out.

So it is with your shopping centre. The big advantage of this, of course: the more the competition, the more the need for smart marketing people. Smile as you ask for a raise :).

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