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Here's the REAL reason why you cannot quit a brand

Posted at 9:20 AM, Mar 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 12:20:30-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Once you've found the right brand, it's hard to stop using and put your trust in another company's product. If you wonder why, new research from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management says it has the real answer.

“We found that brands with long trajectories need to create moments of engagement with their customers,” says Hope Schau, Eller Professor of Marketing. “In other words, because the relationship with a consumer cannot stop at purchase, companies need to make sure they are reengaging existing customers and keeping them connected.”

Labeled "brand reflexivity," Schau and her co-author Melissa Archpru Akaka from the University of Denver found companies that apply moments of reflection are able to create bonds with customers based on their values and also increase their customer base.

“In other words, brands are almost unlimited in the types of stories they can tell, which helps broaden their customer base,” says Schau.

In a news release, the researchers use Facebook's "Memories" or "On This Day" feature as an example of how companies connect with customers. The Facebook feature reminds users of what they did a certain time period in the past on the day and even includes who they were with.

“When you see those memories in your news feed, you connect that memory with Facebook and therefore feel a bond with the platform,” says Schau. “It becomes harder to quit Facebook because it’s providing you with these moments. And obviously not quitting Facebook helps Facebook.”

The research is expected to be published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.