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Brand Loyalty

Forgiveness And The Tiger Woods Brand



Yesterday, Nike, Woods’ largest sponsor announced that its advertising plans involving him would not be altered by Mr. Woods’ “transgressions.” In a statement, Nike said, “ Tiger and his family have Nike’s full support. We respect Tiger’s request for privacy and our thoughts are with Tiger and his family at this time.” 

“Sponsor expedience,” you say? That’s as well may be. But had the company an iota of evidence that the “transgression” was appreciably affecting company image and sales, they’d dump him as fast as a golfer scraps a driver with a cracked shaft!

Loyalty isn’t capricious. It’s palpable, especially as it regards sales and situations where the brand requires the benefit of the doubt. It’s far more emotional than rational, which is why virtually 100% of people asked if Tiger’s behavior was acceptable, would tell you “no,” and why that same 100% are willing to forgive his indiscretions. Which is why his biggest sponsors – along with his fans – have reaffirmed their support for him.

Here’s a marketing truth: Loyalty is always accompanied by positive consumer behavior and sales, and consumers willing to buy more, recommend more, rebuff competitive offers, and even invest in publicly traded companies. And sometimes it comes with a metaphorical ‘Get Out of Jail Card.”

But here’s another marketing truth: engendering that level of loyalty doesn’t happen by chance.

Courtesy: Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys

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