Brand Loyalty and Staying with It
One of the crucial elements of a relationship between two individuals in love would be loyalty. Aside from love (duh), trust and commitment, one would want his or her significant other to remain loyal and faithful. This would make a relationship work out well, for better or for worse.
Then, let’s bring this element of loyalty to a bigger scale; a different scenario. What about between a company and its consumers? Let’s talk about Brand Loyalty.
In marketing, Brand Loyalty is defined as a consumer’s positive feelings towards a brand and dedication to purchase the same product or service repeatedly now and in the future from the same brand, regardless of a competitor’s actions or changes in the environment. The consumers remain loyal to that one specific brand as long as it is available. They rarely buy, or buy less of other brands within the same product category. Brand loyalty exists when the consumer feels that the brand consists of right product characteristics and quality at right price. Even if the other brands drop their price or have sales promotions, the brand loyal consumer will most likely stick to their preferred brand.
Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz in wrote in his book Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time about how the coffee merchant became a remarkable brand over the decades. He also talks about the importance of people (including customers) to the business.
Mass advertising can help build brands, but authenticity is what makes them last. If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand,
So, how important is Brand Loyalty? So starters, brand loyal consumers are the foundation of an organization. When there is greater loyalty levels, there is less marketing expenditure because the brand loyal customers help promote the brand positively. It acts as a means of launching and introducing more products that are targeted at same customers at less marketing spend. This could also mean that these customers could restrain new competitors to enter in the market with their product or services.
Aside from this, brand loyalty can be defined as relative possibility of customer shifting to another brand in case there is a change in product’s features, price or quality. As brand loyalty increases, customers will respond less to competitive moves and actions. Brand loyal customers remain committed to the brand, are willing to pay higher price for the same brand, and will promote their brand more often. This is because the brand loyal customers are less reluctant to shift to other brands, respond less to price changes and self- promote the brand as they perceive that their brand have unique value which is not provided by other competitive brands.
Brand loyalty equates to long-term, sustainable, business success. You can count on loyal customers to keep buying your branded products and telling their friends about them. At the end of the day, companies need to know how to retain their consumer’s brand loyalty. Failing to do so could lead to dire consequences.