Branded Access Offers Work Best When They’re Not Sacrificing Brand Loyalty Over a Short-Term Gain




As iconic brands experiment with branded access offers—short-term product rentals—the latest research from the University of Illinois suggests a potential pitfall: these innovative strategies might erode a brand’s perceived exclusivity. This revelation comes when companies grapple with balancing accessibility and maintaining the allure that defines luxury. The study warns that while these offers can attract a new consumer base, they may dilute the cachet among dedicated consumers, raising significant questions about the sustainability of such models in the luxury sector.

What are the long-term impacts of short-term rentals on brand prestige and loyalty? This core question hooks into the concerns of both consumers and marketers, especially as brands like Hermes and Bugatti weigh the benefits against potential risks to their storied reputations.

Dr. Mansur Khamitov, a leading expert in Marketing and Consumer Psychology and Assistant Professor of Marketing at Indiana University, analyzes whether the economics of capturing new consumers with these rental offers could justify the possible erosion of brand exclusivity.

Dr. Khamitov highlights several key insights from the study:

  • Brand Objectives Matter: Short-term rentals are likely detrimental for brands prioritizing exclusivity and prestige, short-term rentals are likely detrimental. Conversely, brands focusing on market expansion and awareness might find value in these strategies.
  • Brand Personality is Key: Sophisticated, high-end brands may suffer more from short-term rentals than brands perceived as sincere or competent, which might manage without alienating loyal customers.
  • Strategic Adjustments Can Mitigate Risks: Implementing longer rental periods could signal a greater commitment to consumers, potentially alleviating some risks associated with brand dilution.
  • Exclusive Rental Offers: Limiting rentals to existing or former customers might preserve a sense of exclusivity and reduce the impact on brand perception.
  • Tailored Strategies: Each brand must consider its unique characteristics and customer base when deciding whether to implement short-term rental offers.

Dr. Khamitov’s analysis underscores a nuanced approach to branded access offers, urging brands to carefully evaluate their strategies in light of their specific brand ethos and consumer expectations. This expert analysis clarifies the stakes and guides brands in navigating the complex dynamics of innovation and tradition in the luxury market.

Article by James Kent

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