A consumers relationship with a brand is a bit like a friendship, if it is strong, you will be prepared to put up with a bit of nonsense and still be friends, if it is weak, you may not be. If the poor behaviour continues, it will normally be the end of the “brand friendship”, after all, a friendship is supposed to be a two way process.
It’s a simple equation, deliver the benefits of friendship, the “brand promise” to people who care, and you will not depreciate your brand, fail to deliver, and depreciation occurs, and as every marketer knows, building it up is always harder than tearing it down
Accountants understand the notion of friendship in a balance sheet, called “goodwill”, they see it all the time, problem is they do not understand how it gets there.
A quick scan of the commentary yesterday after the Cup day reduction of retail interest rates resulted in all the major banks, except NAB, passing on the whole reduction indicates, a customer PR bellyflop of significant proportions, a whack on the nose to all “brand friends” .
It really does not matter how justified the “banking” of .05% of the decrease by NAB may be, they have just spent millions telling us how they are different from the others, setting themselves up as the bank for service, one you can go to with your financial problems, your banking friend, and it has been an effective message. All gone, “Poof”.
A rational bankers decision based on the margin squeeze created by the rising costs of wholesale money, and the reducing rates in Australia, but taken in an emotional market. Dumb.
Want to see brand depreciation, just look at NAB for a case study.