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How does a brand recover from a non spill: Get people back in the habit

March 21, 2013

How does a brand recover from a non spill: Get people back in the habit

How does a brand bounce back from the spill that never happened?  We could look at BP as a literal case study but their spill was unexpected – this spill has been coming for a long time.

We have the same Prime Minister after the ex Prime Minister was asked to be the current Prime Minister to replace the sitting Prime Minister – confused yet?  Well probably not as confused as the Labor Party brand.

So what does Julia do now?  Our recommendation is pretty simple – lets move away from the politicians and get back to the people and see the current state of play with the brand.

Next week we will release our ‘year in the making’ Rituals report (Consumers buy on autopilot: what does this mean for your brand?) which identifies the strength of consumer habit.  It tells how many of the decisions we make are often done unconsciously – we’re in a habit and on autopilot.  The paper dismisses the belief that habitual purchases are most common in high frequency purchases and in fact, political preferences is an extremely ritualistic decision.  Look back at the USA voting behaviours by State and you’ll see little-to-no movement.  It’s why pollsters use the past vote as a means of weighting and predicting their polls.  Voting is a habit for many people.

So, if voting is ritualistic, what does brand Labor need to do to get deserted voters back into the Labor habit.  The answer lies in the reward.

When brands want to disrupt a habit, they focus on the cues.  Think Tontine putting a date stamp on their pillows – it served as a cue to change our pillows.  It broke the habit of hanging onto old pillows.  For Labor, their previous voters haven’t formed a Liberal habit, they are now simply considering other parties – awoken to the fact that there is alternatives.  So to bring them back, the reward is critical.  And you won’t know the reward if you don’t speak to the punters.   The reward isn’t going to be as simple as Kevin Rudd is the leader again – it’s going to be related to what the Labor brand stands for and means to these people.  What would drive them back into a state of unconsciousness where they would simply vote for Labor on autopilot.

Lots of questions, lots of work and a good habit to strengthen.

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