Shining sunlight on “vampire brands” …

Punch line: Vampire brands live off the blood of their customers … they can be (and should be) defanged by vigilant and vocal consumers.

Extracted from a published letter in the Financial Times by MSB Prof Charles Skuba.

Examples of minor customer exploitation have become too common business practices today and deserve more customer challenge.

It is lamentable that “business practices whose rationale derives from consumer ignorance and producer knowledge” are accepted today by too many executives, particularly in service industries, as convenient opportunities for fattening margins after the primary customer decision has been made.

The best brands and marketing practitioners have greater respect for their customers and work to win their loyalty at what Procter & Gamble calls the first and second “moments of truth”.

  • The first moment of truth is when the customer chooses one brand over another at the point of purchase.
  • The second moment of truth is when the customer chooses whether to repurchase after consideration of the value equation.

We will all benefit when consumers share their frustrating experiences with brands that fail this test.

Vampire brands that live off the blood of their customers are best controlled by exposure to the sunlight of customer criticism.

Ken’s Take: Social media provides a powerful way for dis-satisfied customers to spread their messages broadly and quickly.  Vampire brands beware.

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