The Pleasure of Brand Betrayal


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I come to the public to confess: I cheated. That is-me, I betrayed. But I didn’t cheat alone, and I confess I’ll keep cheating. I’m sorry, to be honest: you’re a lot stronger than me.

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Who did I cheat on? All of you. To all those products that grew with me, brands, commercials, poster girls and jingles that were part of my childhood and to which I had sworn eternal fidelity.

Whose fault is it? I don’t know, maybe, genius mismatch. I grew up hearing that advertising was the soul of the business, that the four “feet” of marketing (product, price, square, advertising) make a difference. I learned that they are infallible and that nice guy in glasses who makes steel straw commercials conquers any consumer.

In the meantime, I’ve changed. I believe many are doing the same. It’s about time, isn’t it? After all, we enter a new millennium. And look, I didn’t graduate or get an MBA to be a consumer. I’ve just changed.

Perhaps the change is the result of globalization, of the Internet… Who knows? Don’t ask me for a logical explanation for my infidelity to brands. I know I promised to always use the powdered soap of the brand A. I also confess that I definitely stopped drinking! I mean, drinking the b-brand beer. I admit That I promised to always buy the last car model of that manufacturer of the brand C. Once he even called me asking what the other supplier had best, and I answered: everything and nothing at the same time, you know? I might just need some time!

Oh, the marketing people also helped me quit smoking. Seriously, I quit smoking the D-mark, which used cowboys to convince me. I replaced it with the E brand because it gives me a shorter life.

I believe there’s a role reversal going on. Before the brands said how I should be. For example, if I am an ethical consumer with social responsibility, my consumer brands should act the same way. And it’s no use thinking that, using the best technologies from call centers and the best database loyalty and marketing software, they will ensure the achievement of my loyalty. It is because this paraphernalia does not include the unique variable of the unique personality of every single consumer.

It’s like someone said: you’re not doing everything wrong, you’re just not doing everything right. Marketing should now be done on the street and with direct contacts, and no more “in-house”. There a question may arise: is there really a solution to win the loyalty of a consumer? I believe that perhaps the only strategy is to use the same tactic as consumers. That is, to be unfaithful too. Change, as we have changed too. Do you want an example? Imagine a sentimental relationship with a couple. The two, for years, can find themselves totally faithful and rejoice in mutual loyalty. But considering most divorce research, those who married would not remarry the same brand, or rather the same person.

There is a thought, whose authorship I do not know (since I am also not faithful to authors), which says so: love comes with time, but time destroys love. So watch out, marketing people! Watch out, businessmen! You may be being betrayed right now in a supermarket gondola or on the Internet.

Heverton Anunciação
CRM and CX Consultant. Author of main research and books in this subject in the Latin America region to integrate CRM, CX, and Data Science


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