Can Brand Loyalty Be Bought?

If you spent anytime paying your dues in Corporate America at all, you would be very familiar with the Marketing investment $$ as a percentage of sales.  The number is often staggeringly high.  So what’s the end game by spending so much?  Create brand awareness, customer loyalty in order to generate more repeated sales.

With all the preaching and investment by countless corporations, just exactly how many of them are practicing the ritual of treating their customers like kings or queens?

How Coach Practices What They Preach?handbag-2

I am very pleased to share that at least two consumer companies are doing exactly what they preach.  One of them is Coach, the handbag retailer.

This is how it started.  A year or so ago, I bought two handbags of the same style with different colors from the Coach Outlet store.  My daughter called my bags “dog carriers” due to the shape. I have been using and enjoying both bags because of their size, durability and color to reflect change of seasons.  Recently, I noticed that the handle of my black bag started peeling off for no reason.

Not knowing exactly what to do, I called the Coach store and spoke to a lady named Seane.  I explained the situation and Seane asked me to bring the bag to the store so that they could take a look at it.  The same day, I made my round to the Outlet Mall where Coach store is located.  With a brief explanation, I spoke to Seane in person.  Without my original receipt, it turned out the current discounted price is only 50% of what I paid for my bag.

Sean must have noticed the reluctance on my face, she offered me another option to look for a bag in the store with comparable price.   The end of the story was that I got a brand new bag to replace the defective one as Coach’s way to honor its commitment to product quality and customer service.  I can’t tell you how grateful I was when I was leaving the store.

Is Tommy Hilfiger Another Coincidence?

Similar incident occurred a couple of months ago with Tom Hilfiger store.  To make a long story short, I purchased two pairs of sunglasses from Tommy a year or so ago.  Soon after, the screws of the glasses came off without much wear and tear.  I debated about whether to trash the sunglasses or take them to the store.  In the end, I opted for the latter.  The conclusion of this story was that I got my refund for the sunglasses and more than what I paid for.

In this day and age, you’ve probably heard more headlines about American companies moving their manufacturing facilities offshore to leverage the cheaper labor and material costs.   You may also observe or experience inadequate customer service when you phone in their “Customer Care Center”.  Many of them are doing lip service about building a customer-centric culture.

“Word of Mouth” Still Works Like A Charm

Among many creative ways to create brand recognition, the ancient and the most effective one to date is still via “word of mouth” by treating the customers right.  Coach and Tommy Hilfilger have certainly exemplified in winning and more importantly, sustaining my brand loyalty.

Do you have similar or different stories to share?

Comments are closed.