As long as a relationship with — or even an opinion or understanding about — a company, brand, or product exists, the consumer journey continues. This is true even when a company is no longer there to help guide the experience. So if a company is bought or goes out of business — or a product line is discontinued — it doesn’t mean the consumer journey is over.
The journey also continues if customers are dissatisfied with a product, brand, or company. They might say, “I’ll never spend another cent on them as long as I live, and I’ll tell everyone I know how unhappy I am with my experience.”
Although the customer is unwilling to invest any more money in the company, a relationship still exists. In this case, it’s a negative one — and this customer might leave an impression on others. The consumer journey continues, although it will be much harder for the company to guide it.
To summarize: The best marketers manage consumer journeys as if they will never end. Customers are in the driver’s seat, but companies can be right there with them, nudging each customer in the right direction.