WHEN ACQUISITION ACTS AS A RETENTION DRIVER
Don’t get me wrong; there is some merit in aiming acquisition-led efforts at existing customers. Customers experience a sense of reassurance and even pride when exposed to their bank or their auto manufacturer or their toothpaste. And our ability to reinforce some (ideally positive) kind of presence, equity, or association by surrounding existing customers with warm and fuzzy messages of hope, promises, and reasons to believe they all made the right choice plays a key role in keeping customers within arm’s reach. And back to that zero-sum game—If it isn’t our message they’re exposed to, it’s going to be our competitors’. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we?
That may be so, but at what point should we be shifting our mind-set from one that is always reaching out to that arm’s-length customer to one where we bear-hug the living daylights out of our customers with meaning, passion, and complete submission instead?
The practice of executing big ideas is designed to entice consumers into considering the brand in question in the future. However, there’s no discrimination between new and existing customers. If anything, the messaging almost biases against existing customers, with special offers, discounts, or promotions aimed at the mistress (two in the bush) versus the spouse (bird in the hand). In order to find new customers, these big ideas often take direct aim at other brands’ customers, but truthfully, from a brand-loyalty, preference, ...