But which ones stick?
On average, we are exposed to over 10,000 brands a day. If that sounds excessive, have a look around. Brands are everywhere. They’re on our devices, clothes, water bottle, office building and this is only by looking at our nearby surroundings. If you start scrolling on Instagram or Facebook, brand awareness increases tenfold. Yet, with so many brand choices, we tend to stick with the same few brands over and over again. Brands are so deep-rooted in our purchasing decisions, that we buy into brands rather than products. This is partially due to the extensive availability of thousands of similar products. If we spent time accessing our needs and looking into the pros and cons of each product, it would take us months to only buy toothpaste. Because of this, brands spend millions on logos, messaging, branding, and advertising, making sure that when these decisions come along, their brands are sitting at the top of our mind, better yet, our wallet.
Brands in a way act like your best friend — when you need them, they’re right there for you. Yes, perhaps talking to a psychologist about a recent burnout might be more appropriate and effective, yet a friend has been there from the start and you trust them. There are probably better, healthier and cheaper toothpaste available, yet most people disregard logic and rationale and continue to buy products that are familiar and trustworthy. There is a level of convenience when it comes to brand preference. By increasing its presence, a brand increases visibility, appearing more reliable and present in your life. This visibility subconsciously affects the decision making processes of consumers. This reputation is gained through marketing and branding efforts and organically grown by customers as they become an integral part of the brand’s story by simply living their lives. Brands, therefore, gain recognition through their customers’ offline and online actions — wearing the latest sneakers or posting a picture with a favorite drink on social media. By simply being, customers have the power to affirm a brand’s reputation and affect its success.
While brand awareness ensures familiarity with a name, brand preference is the impact of that awareness, and how the individual connects with a brand. This can be linked to a social identity theory in which customers compare their identity to that one of a company, and brands become a tool for self-identity. This creates a deeper connection to the identity of the customer, and thus a more long-lasting effect than a single purchase. The brand suddenly did not only gain a loyal customer but a customer that advocates for their products and increases their value as a whole. This lifetime value is what we focus on at Bits. We are aware that customers bring value to brands by simply choosing them, and we believe that customers can also gain value from these brand preference — in addition to the value gained with their products or services. It’s all about value exchange! How? We created a loyalty platform which allows customers to earn free stocks with their purchases, giving them yet another reason to continue to choose their favorite brands.