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You’ve been here before. The five o’clock whistle is about to blow and your spouse calls to say that you need to hit the supermarket on the way home. A half-hour later, you pull into the grocery store parking lot, which on this rainy evening is a demolition derby waiting to happen. You grab the nearest cart and start to fill it with the usual staples — butter, eggs, milk, flour — but your mission is cut short at the bread aisle.
They’re out of your family’s favorite brand. Your wife insists on the 12-grain variety and your kids will turn up their noses at a grilled cheese or PB&J on anything but their old stand-by. You hit the express checkout lane, call the local pizza joint to deliver, and cut short your evening shopping adventure.
This scenario is no surprise to the market researchers who work at the customer science firm Dunnhumby, which analyzes data from customers across the globe and then applies insights to create better customer experiences and brand loyalty. Dunnhumby has studied 400 million transactions from customer reward cards just like yours, and they learned that people will typically leave a store before purchasing a different brand than the one they’re accustomed to — in many cases, not even finishing the rest of their shopping list.