My company sells room additions. Now the company wants to "brand itself." The problem is this: Because of the nature of the product, we are not really interested in long-term brand loyalty. This is a once-in-a-lifetime buy, and there are no long-term follow-ups we can do other than warranty repairs and make-goods. Do you think it is worth brand building and positioning exercises in a case like this? Send help before we spend my ad budget on research.
Out on a Limb
Dear Limb Sitter,
There is a big difference between a company that indicates it cares about the long-term customer prospects and a company that relies on long-term customer prospects. You may work for one that doesn't need long-term relationships, but you might find yourself with more of those juicy short-term relationships if your customers perceive you care.
Think of Trane air conditioners, or Maytag dishwashers. Both companies brand themselves as being obsessed with high quality to the point where it simply isn't in the company's own best interests. But, of course, while producing products that don't require replacement may or may not be profitable, giving customers the idea that the products never need to be replaced is almost always helpful to profits.
I understand that yours is a slightly different case, but the principle still applies. Branding can, in fact, help drive first time purchases.