Point of View: Brand loyalty's universal truths

Byron Sharp
Ehrenberg-Bass Institute

Is Chinese brand loyalty different? The short answer is no. But it's still worth investigating.

In January's Admap, there was a very interesting study of Chinese packaged goods buying by the Kantar WorldPanel. A joint publication of Kantar and Bain & Co, it's the best thing I've ever read from Bain on loyalty (vastly better than all that 'zero defections' and 'Net Promoter Score' nonsense).

In fact, it's really significant to see these consultants advising not to aim for large loyalty increases and to instead focus on growing penetration – advice that is for them a complete U-turn. I say it is highly significant because it shows that scientific evidence does eventually win against fashionable theory – even in marketing. Everyone should be heartened by this, even if we'd like such progress to be faster.