Brand loyalty is a trust-driven association between consumers and a brand when consumers develop an emotional connection with a brand and keep on opting for their products or services because they find the brand trustworthy and top-quality compared to other competitors.
The loyalty of customers towards a brand name is demonstrated by their repeat purchases despite the marketing and advertising efforts of competitors. Businesses create brand value via products/services as well as customer service and branding for creating and maintaining brand loyalty. Coca-Cola Company is one of the common examples of enjoying powerful brand loyalty around the world despite products and marketing efforts of Pepsi.
Brand Loyalty Definition
Brand Loyalty is consumers’ tendency to prefer a brand over other brands regardless of the price charged by the preferred brand. In other words, when a consumer has a positive association with a particular brand and is devoted to that brand or product, then a consumer is said to be loyal to a brand.
Brand loyalty of a consumer is visible when he/ she makes a repeated purchase of a particular brand, even when they have many other brands to choose from. For building brand loyalty for a product, many companies have invested considerable amounts of time and money in satisfying the target market with their service and product.
A business builds brand loyalty by using the loyalty program for a brand name to convert the target audience into brand ambassadors. Brands ensure a customized customer experience to convert customers into repeat customers. Loyalty towards a brand is demonstrated by repeat purchases of a product even when the consumers have choices to opt for other alternatives.
Brand Loyalty vs Customer Loyalty
The main difference between brand and customer loyalties exists in their way of developing a connection between a customer and a brand.
In brand loyalties, the loyal connection develops because of customer perception and emotional connection while customer loyalties are associated with customer spending.
A brand can enjoy customer loyalty by lowering prices than competitors or by offering better discounts. But in brand loyalty, pricing does not play a bigger role, as people prefer opting for repeat purchases from the same brand even if the products are more expensive than competitors.
Why is Brand Loyalty Important?
Companies need to enjoy significant advantages over other market players. Loyalty empowers a brand to enjoy a loyal customer base who is ready to opt for different products or services repeatedly. Some of these advantages include-
- Costless advertising of the brand through the medium of satisfied and loyal customers. They will promote the company’s product through word of mouth.
- Brand loyalty provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
- With solid brand loyalty, a company will experience repetitive buying of products by its customers.
- Repetitive buying means higher sales for the company, and higher sales mean higher profit.
- There are fewer chances that the loyal customers will get impressed by the competitors’ marketing strategies.
When a consumer is interested in buying a particular product repeatedly irrespective of any circumstantial or other changes, then it comes under the category of brand loyalty. For this to take place, the company has to maintain the quality of its products. Nowadays, shoppers do not compromise on the quality standards even if they have to pay a bit higher. The organization should also maintain its focus by providing incentives to the customers regularly so that they retain the faithfulness of their buyers.
True loyalty is tested during the following circumstances-
- When the company increases the prices of their products and even then the consumer is willing to adjust the excess amount from his pocket.
- When the company starts offering substandard products and even then the consumer is willing to buy them without breaking his habits.
- When the company decreases the amount of the product, keeping the prices the same, and even then the buyer does not shift his loyalties even though it may prove a burden on his budget.
How to Build Brand loyalty?
Building brand loyalty in the competitive market is not an easy task. Sometimes, it took years to experience brand loyalty for a product of a company. With the following seven tips, a company can increase the chance of getting brand loyalty for its product.
1. Interact with your customers
The first and most crucial tip in building brand loyalty is to interact with your customers. Connect with your customers through social media. Inform them about the new trends, special discounts or deals. If you have more conversations with your customers, you will experience better results in brand loyalty. It is so because a customer feels attached when a brand connects with them regularly.
2. Understand the needs and wants of your customers
Before delivering any product, understand what your customer is expecting from your brand. Even when you deliver the product, understand what your customers love in your product. To understand these things, a brand can conduct in-depth discussions or meet its consumers to know their responsibilities towards the product better. The right way of using cookies, or ensuring a privacy overview, or asking consent for using personal information are some of the ways of making trust.
3. Stay consistent with the brand
Consistency is an essential aspect of brand loyalty. Make sure that your customer is getting the same feeling with every repetitive purchase. The customers must be confident that your brand is delivering the same thing every time as promised initially. From product development, logo design, and market research to the rewards program and customer relationship to branding and marketing tactics, brands need to be consistent.
4. Design a brand logo and work for brand recognition & brand identity
A brand logo is the first thing with which your customer is going to interact with. Therefore, a brand must invest well in designing the brand logo. An effective brand logo represents the brand’s personality and offering. It is necessary to choose the right color for your brand logo.
5. Have a focus on the best part of the brand
A brand must make sure that its customers understand its product and its benefits. Be very specific to the brand; this will help the consumers understand what you offer them. Rather than spreading your arms to every product, focus on a product in which your brand is best.
6. Ensure that your consumers are coming back
Most of the time, a consumer likes a product but fails to remember the brand and to make repetitive purchases. A company can provide incentives and rewards to loyal customers to get the customers back. These rewards can be gifts, vouchers, coupons, or discounts.
7. Promote your brand with the help of Influencers & Marketers
The most common way of promoting a brand is using celebrities for promotion. But sometimes, if a celebrity does an evil thing, there are high chances that your brand will also face the results of it. So, a new and effective way to promote the brand is to take the help of influencers. Today, most consumers follow the recommendations that are provided by social media influencers. Therefore, it is better to use an online influencer for promoting your brand for having a sense of connection.
Brand Loyalty Examples in the Real World
1. Apple (Smartphones and Laptops)
Apple is one of the smartphone brands that is experiencing brand loyalty for a long time. The vision and mission of Apple are to provide quality products to the consumers, and it successfully made its customers understand this aspect of the company. Apple delivers innovation with its every launch and maintains its design for every product. This is the reason that today a consumer is willing to pay any amount for its new launch.
2. Netflix (Streaming Platforms)
Netflix is one of that streaming platforms that gains a huge base of viewers in a short period. The interesting fact for this streaming platform is that many viewers are loyal to this platform and are not one-time viewers. Netflix gains this popularity and loyalty because of the unique content delivered by this platform. Be it a series based on a social issue, crime genre, or romance, Netflix has justified every content.
3. Domino’s (For Pizza)
Domino’s, a pizza brand that is counted among the top fast-food chains in the world. Domino’s also has a loyal customer base that prefers this brand’s pizzas over other brands available in the market. Domino’s gets this brand loyalty after understanding the need and wants of the customers. It personalized its pizza recipes as per the need of customers in different countries. Among its global market, Domino’s has different pizza menus in every country.
4. Amazon (For E-Commerce)
Amazon is the first E-commerce website that gains the highest popularity. Amazon has a broad, loyal customer base, and this happens because Amazon provides ease of order placing and delivery to its customers. Not only among the customers, but sellers also prefer Amazon. It provides a handsome amount of commission to the sellers and smarty handles the seller management process.
5. WhatsApp (For Online messaging)
WhatsApp, an online messaging platform that is a part of everyone’s day-to-day life. No other competitor is there in the market, which can give tough competition to WhatsApp. WhatsApp gains brand loyalty because of its features like Video calls, messaging, and Voice calls. It provides ease of communication to every user.
6. Nike (Footwear)
Nike, a footwear brand that is counted among the best brand for sneakers or footwear. Today, Nike has a wide base of loyal customers. The reason behind the success of Nike is the classy design and comfortability of the product. For any consumer who is fond of wearing sneakers, then Nike will be the first brand that they prefer.
It is obvious that building brand loyalty is not a simple task but if a brand has a pool of loyal customers, it will enjoy a sustainable, optimized and profitable market presence. A unique, trustworthy, and transparent brand would have better chances of having a loyal customer base.
Businesses should set their company apart from the competition while sharing their compelling story and channelizing loyalty programs to beat the competitors and be a market leader.
Branding and marketing campaigns should also be designed for nurturing brand loyalty.
How effective do you consider brand loyalty for any business?
Here is a video by Marketing91 on Brand Loyalty.
There are many advantages of brand loyalty and it plays a vital role in an organization.
- As the sales figures increase, the production cost decreases. This results in further addition of consumers as the company are able to hold on to their loyal customers as well as being able to include further buyers in their family.
- Organizations that are confident of brand loyalty for their products are able to save money from their marketing budget. This money is utilized in different schemes to gather further consumers for their products. Thus, the company is able to include new shoppers in its products.
- Loyal consumers in it are the brand ambassadors of the products. The mouth publicity generated by them is quite effective and proves a boon for the brand.
- When a brand is assured of its customer base, it can experiment with price hikes or make quantity changes. In most cases, the customers tend to stay with the existing brands as they become comfortable dealing with them.
- The main advantage of brand loyalty is that a company can introduce premium-priced products, as they are secure in the knowledge that the buyer will not ditch them.
The main disadvantage of brand loyalty is that it does not allow heavy changes and if the company goes on to making substantial changes then the chances of losing the loyalty of the customers become higher. Therefore, we find that-
- Brand loyalty is a gift that has to be handled with care like a porcelain product.
- A customer can easily shift his/her allegiance if it is not in accord with the product.
- The pressure of buying generated by the numerous brands that are competing with each other tends to affect the mindset of the buyer. Thus, it becomes easy to shift loyalties in these circumstances.
In many cases, the shopper may prefer a product of one company and another product of a different brand. For example, a purchaser may purchase a car from a brand like Honda but may buy a motorcycle of a different brand like Bajaj or Harley.