Welcome to the supply chain, your marketing strategy

supply chain

A few weeks ago my friend Carol DeVito told me that right now, the supply chain is marketing. That might sound unusual if you’re busy working on your content marketing or social media strategy, but nothing is impacting brand loyalty right now as much as product and labor shortages.

“Companies are struggling to keep products on the shelves,” she said. “They are reducing SKUs and putting off new product launches.”

By all measures, the supply chain disruptions that were exacerbated by the pandemic still persist, especially now that several China cities are in covid lock-down again.

This problem has gone on long enough now that it is starting to impact brand loyalty.

About a year ago, I predicted that this steep decline in customer experience would be the number one issue facing marketers, and now the numbers show this is true. A Brand Keys study found that consumers are in a “recession of brand loyalty.” It found that 38 percent of the categories it analyzed have already seen consumer brand loyalty begin to recede due to service issues.

Among the categories experiencing a recession in brand loyalty are ones tied to economics and/or supply chain issues:

  • Airlines
  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Gasoline
  • Hotels
  • Insurance
  • Investments
  • Pharma
  • Casual Dining
  • Retail
  • Streaming Video
  • Utilities

Brand loyalty is never about price. It’s the emotional engagement that ensures future purchases. It’s the degree to which a brand meets expectations consumers hold for their category Ideal.

Right now, brands aren’t meeting basic needs like delivering the product in a reasonable way (look at the airlines or service levels at restaurants).

The opportunity

Like any crisis, there is the flip side of opportunity. If you can manage your supply chain problems better than competitors, it’s a chance to retain customers, strengthen their loyalty, and maybe even attract new buyers.

This is a time when consumers are already stressed and irritable. Poor service or product availability will make them snap, and maybe they will never come back. You’re also creating complaint terrorists. Unhappy customers tell seven people about their experience, on average.

If you’re in a business that is hurting customers with supply chain issues, get involved. This is not just a procurement or HR issue, this is the heart of your marketing strategy.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions. He is the author of some of the world’s bestselling digital marketing books and is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Follow Mark on TwitterLinkedInYouTube, and Instagram. Discover his $RISE creator community.

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