You’re researching your brand’s market share and you discover that a large portion of the consumers you are reaching have purchased your product before, but not recently enough to be considered a current customer. They’re labeled former, or lapsed, customers.
The first thought that might cross your mind is, “Why are we losing customers? How am I going to explain this to senior management?” Those are legitimate concerns, but having a large number of lapsed customers can also be perceived as an opportunity to win them back to your brand.
A Problem or an Opportunity?
A couple of weeks ago, we delivered a comprehensive recap report on a nine month, experiential program in the spirits industry. The research indicated that the majority of consumers who had purchased the brand before, had not done so recently. We viewed this as an opportunity to learn more about these lapsed customers and utilize the research we’d already conducted to draw conclusions about what might win them back.
Making Lemonade out of Lemons
We discovered that the lapsed customers were generally men above the age of 35 and that they typically purchased spirits off-premise, such as at liquor stores. They fit the profile of a traditional drinker of this product, so one of the goals of the program became successfully introducing new and unexpected ways to enjoy the brand, creating an opportunity out of what might have been perceived as bad news.
While originally targeting younger consumers who were more likely to be new to the brand, we discovered a hidden opportunity to focus future marketing efforts on lapsed customers. We now expect that next year’s results will indicate an increase in market share as lapsed customers return to being loyal customers.
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