A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advertising - A Lifetime Return On Investment

Here I am, a late life stage individual in my fifties. I am someone who has been exposed to advertising all my adult life. I have a family and a reasonable job, consequently, I imagine that I have pretty high appeal to advertisers

The other day I was taken to wondering how much advertising I have been subjected to over the years and perhaps more importantly, I was wondering what the value of the total Australian domestic advertising spend directed at me is worth?

The Neo Global 2011 Advertising Forecast report suggests that every person in Australia is annually worth about $600 in advertising spend. So, if I had spent all of my adult life in Australia (only the last 23 years actually) the total index linked spend on just me during my adult life would have been about $A23,400 dollars.

Now my understanding of advertising is that brand loyalty is the holy grail of advertisers. The trial of new and existing products is obviously the first step towards loyalty but after trial we have to repurchase products and services. Eventually and gradually we become loyal consumers.

So the other day I tried to count up the number of products and brands that I am actually loyal to, meaning the brands that I stick with and am like to stay with both now and into the future.

Here is the surprisingly short list of brands that I am currently loyal to:

1. Guinness beer
2. Haviana thongs
3. Levi 501 jeans
4. Fruit of the Loom T shirts
5. Toyota cars
6. Diet Coke
7. Apple computers
8. Apple phones
9. The Google search engine
10. The Google Chrome web browser
11. Google Gmail email software
12. Xerox printers

If we dissect the list above we can see that all of the Google products are less than 10 years old, the iPhone is less than 5 years old and my loyalty to all of the technology products are conditional on them being the very best performers at the present time. You can be sure that if anything better comes along in the technology field (just like iPhones being much better than Nokias) I will drop the product that I currently own when upgrade time comes around and get the better product.

So six out of the twelve products listed above are recently developed, have not been subjected to the lifelong advertising spend that other products have and only have performance based loyalty. In fact, only the products listed from 1 to 6 have any form of real loyalty from me!

Now let's consider some of the other products that I regularly use:

1. The NAB
2. Qantas
3. The Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme
4. Audi cars
5. Optus mobile service
6. American Express credit cards

These are products that have been in my life for a long time, the credit cards and bank arrangements are due to the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme linked rewards and let me tell you right now, if a better rewards scheme came along I wouldn't hesitate to switch away to a competing product

In short, this is a pretty sad list. Of the 17 products that have an identifiable place in my day to day life only six have any real embedded loyalty.

In my book that's a pretty poor return on a $23,000 life long investment in advertising dollars!

How many products are you loyal to?


  1. Gosh, I forgot to add Sigur Ros - Inni, yet another brilliant album!

  2. 1. Coopers
    2. Edwin
    3. Rockport
    4. Mizuno

    It's true how few brands I could say I'm truly loyal too!


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