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DMA Insight: Understanding Brand-Switchers


The market is crowded and brands fight every day to be in the spotlight.

Sometimes you have to gain your customer’s attention, other times they’ll find you themselves.

We’ll illustrate below what some of the key drivers in the brand-switching mechanism are.

If we’ve sparked your interest, we discuss this and more in our report created in collaboration with Paragon.

Why Customers Change?

We all are creatures of habit.

In other words, it means we are naturally against change.

Assuming this, we mistakenly believe that customers would only leave a brand if they have to.

However, data reveals it’s not just bad customer service that pushes people away.

Often the most important driver for switching is not just price. Getting better value (57%) and finding a brand to better suit personal needs (31%) stand behind the decision to move to a different brand.

Switching Behaviour

Switching has never been easier.

More choice and more possibilities are available, as are comparison and recommendation tools.

Comparison and recommendation tools allow the process of switching to be simplified. With the offers and regulations explained, customers are metaphorically given a master key that allows access to all of the market’s doors.

Six out of ten customers have switched at least one brand in the last 12 months: the majority have switched shampoo (26%), energy provider (26%) and supermarket (18%).

In the last year many switched to new brands which entered the market and disrupted the status quo:


Many consumers also appeared interested in trying new brands.

More than half (57%) have already bought from start-up companies - in particular, younger consumers, those with children under 18, and those from higher-income households.

The main drivers to try a brand for the first time or to try a start-up seem, unsurprisingly, to be price related. However, there are significant differences in what drives engagement with start-ups vs. established brands people haven’t used before.

How does this work?

In case you’re wondering how you can see all you’ve read in action, here’s two great examples to inspire you:

2018 Bronze Best customer acquisition campaign & 2018 Gold Best customer journey

2017 Silver Best customer acquisition campaign

Hear more from the DMA

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