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When consumers are friction-free how can you build brand loyalty?

Right now, brands must face a new reality in the marketplace: consumers are friction-free and jump between brands at will. This is a reality exacerbated by unprecedented levels of consumer choice, not to mention the rising cost of living pressures many consumers are facing. In fact, Qualtrics research in Australia shows at least a third of people have switched to cheaper brands for staple, essential, and discretionary items over the past 6 months.

This reality means brands are having to work harder than ever to cultivate brand loyalty and stand out in crowded marketplaces. In response, in an effort to show up differently in the marketplace across the globe we’ve seen the rise of purpose-driven brands focused on solving the specific needs of their customers.

One such brand leading the way in creating a brand and product consumers love is New Zealand’s Rockit Apple. Over the last few years, Rockit Apple has taken a commodity product - the humble apple - and turned it into the go-to healthy snack in 30 countries. And Rockit Apple’s trajectory shows no sign of slowing down, with the company’s exports predicted to double in 2023.

It’s a growth journey fuelled by market and consumer insights. At Qualtrics XM on Tour Sydney, Julian Smith, General Manager - Global Marketing at Rockit Apple, shared how brand and market insights captured by Qualtrics has helped grow unprompted awareness of the Rockit Apple brand from 2 to 14 per cent in the global market, and prompted awareness from 46 to 62 per cent.

Unlocking brand insights at scale

“When we first started, we did not know what was possible in this category,” says Julian Smith, General Manager - Global Marketing, Rockit Apple. Two years ago, before undertaking a rebranding, Rockit’s brand was a commodity; it had zero information about its consumers and negligible social followers. It also had, as Smith describes it, a hokey brand.

“To build a better understanding of how Rockit Apple was being perceived globally, we set up a brand tracker using Qualtrics to better understand our consumers,” says Smith. The Qualtrics program allowed Rockit Apple to capture insights from each international market it was operating in and analyse them in a single platform.

In addition to the operational efficiencies Qualtrics enabled at Rockit Apple, it also equipped the company with a deep understanding of what consumers thought of the company and what it could do to better meet their needs.

Building a purpose-driven brand

Rockit Apple’s goal was to become the world’s most loved apple brand and so it developed intellectual property helping it create a purpose-driven brand in three areas. First, Rockit Apple wanted to create a compelling vision, a story the world had not heard before. Then it looked at design of packaging and point of sale, introducing serves in boxes and cellulose containers tailored for consumer needs. Finally, Rockit Apple developed a culture around those two aspects.

“Underpinning those areas is the idea you know what consumers are saying about you,” observed Smith in his presentation at the recent Qualtrics XM on Tour event.

Using the insights captured by Qualtrics, the brand also saw there was an opportunity to move beyond simply selling its product in the fruit and vegetable aisle and moving into the convenience category. “A big part of our rebrand was surprising people,” he says. “People want a brand that’s relevant to them, with personality and uniqueness at every touchpoint.

“We had license to step out of the commodity mindset and be unique. Rockit Apple is now selling its product in 30 countries around the world. We are one of the most visible and well-known fresh fruit offerings, with a brand that stands for something and represents the concept of apples, and a fresh and healthy snack in the minds of consumers,” said Smith.

How to build brand loyalty when consumers have unprecedented choice

Qualtrics // Experience Management

Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, is a cloud-native software platform that empowers organizations to deliver exceptional experiences and build deep relationships with their customers and employees.

With insights from Qualtrics, organizations can identify and resolve the greatest friction points in their business, retain and engage top talent, and bring the right products and services to market. Nearly 20,000 organizations around the world use Qualtrics’ advanced AI to listen, understand, and take action. Qualtrics uses its vast universe of experience data to form the largest database of human sentiment in the world. Qualtrics is co-headquartered in Provo, Utah and Seattle.

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