A friend called yesterday needing a little sympathy; he had brought Valentine’s Day flowers and chocolate to his ex-girlfriend, hoping for forgiveness (a long story I’ll spare you…) and to rekindle their relationship.  His efforts met with zero success and I did offer sympathy, but also gently suggested he move on. His ex was not open to a renewed relationship.

This same dynamic can occur in a consumer’s relationship with a brand, which, of course, defines that brand. Once a consumer has been turned off, whether by product/service issues or negative word-of-mouth, it is extremely difficult to turn that relationship around.  Statistics across multiple industries prove that the effort of converting a negative brand relationship into a positive one is the most expensive and least productive marketing challenges.  Clearly, if that consumer is a highly influential one, or represents a substantial portion of your target market, some efforts should be made.  However, the majority of your budget – particularly a limited one – is better spent on retaining your brand loyalists and converting neutral relationships into positive ones.  Engaging your brand loyalists and enlisting them as evangelists, through a strategic marketing and public relations strategy is a far more profitable use of your time and marketing funds.

And my broken-hearted friend?  We’ll check back in a few weeks…

Tracey Nelson

Principal, Maven Marketing Solutions