Big budget consumer campaigns deliver diminishing returns for brands.

Today’s shoppers are becoming less loyal to the biggest brands with the highest profile advertising campaigns, according to research by Bain & Company and Kantar Worldpanel.

The trend, which is seen most vividly in supermarkets, sees shoppers making far more decisions within stores, and is leading to less influence for the heavily promoted brands that dominate consumer magazines, newspapers, television and internet advertising.


“Brand owners are recognising that for many categories, the decision is happening in stores, not in the home,” said Richard Webster, a consumer goods partner at Bain.

Jewellery brands have already reacted to this changing consumer behaviour, which is why they have invested so heavily in influencing shoppers once they are inside the shop. The boom of shop-in-shop displays is one example, which followed on the heels of decades of investment in branded window display furniture.

It is also a strong case for shifting the marketing mix from pull to push advertising. Pull advertising comprises the traditional consumer-facing campaigns that influence customers to pull demand through retailers. Push advertising encourages retailers to push certain brands ahead of their competitors.

“Because people have a wide number of brands, shifting your investment to the store – to somewhere the shopper can see the benefit – is a very powerful strategy,” suggests Webster.