The concept of product lifecycles is a pretty old one. I’ve read a few articles on brand lifecycles too, like this one. But something I’ve been thinking about recently is the customer lifecycle. I’ve been googling a bit and found a few notes like this and this, but that doesn’t quite say what i had in mind.
The thought came to me when i picked up the latest edition of Outlook Money. This magazine has, for the last year so, exhibited an uncanny ability to give me exactly the kind of stuff I’d been thinking or discussing about say, a week before, and everytime i pick up the magazine, I have this ‘Truman Show’ feeling. 🙂 It means that somehow they’ve been able to understand the needs of the reader completely, and build an extremely good mass customised product. Notice that they have been doing it for at least a couple of years now.
My needs have changed in those years, as have my financial planning, consumption patterns etc. But OM has kept in touch with them correctly. Is it following my life? Okay, lets stop getting personal, is it following the life of the demographic that i fit into, which is also their target audience? If it is, then that’s what i mean by a customer lifecycle, which means that the brand by itself does not have a dna, but follows the needs of the consumer through his life, in the space that the brand operates in – in this case, personal finance.
One advantage I can immediately think of is that the customer’s bonding with the brand will definitely be very high because it never loses relevance. The brand can then decide to either start another version of itself targeting the next generation (Outlook starts a sub brand for the younger set after say, 5 years, when the needs of the original and the new set can be clearly defined and are distinct) or if you’re say a Beverages brand or Apparel brand then you create sub categories (like you already have Coke Lite). So in a sense, the brand gets recycled all the time in an avtar thats always relevant.
Do you have any more examples like Outlook? Do you feel there’s potential for some brands to work this way?
Meanwhile, there’s this excellent brand tag experiment being done. I thought I’ll replicate it here at first, but since people answering me here are too less, it really didn’t make sense. But do try it out here.
until next time, recycle anyway