What is Brand Loyalty?
Brand loyalty is a pattern of consumer behavior through which consumers tend to get committed to a specific brand or product and make repeat purchases over time. Businesses plan different creative marketing strategies like reward and loyalty programs, incentives, trials and brand ambassadors to create brand loyalty. Those who are loyal to a particular brand do not purchase a substitute brand in case the preferred brand is unavailable. Loyal customers search multiple stores for their preferred brands are more likely to forego their purchase in case the brand is not available.
This buying decision can be either conscious or unconscious, however, it is based upon trust that the brand fulfils the consumers. Brand loyalty is based upon emotional involvement which is created between the brand and the consumer. It is perceived by the customer that the brand will fulfill some type of emotional want or physical need in a unique way and which evokes emotions during the process of purchasing and using it.
Brand Loyalty Definition
In terms of definition, brand loyalty is the emotionally-charged decision of a consumer for purchasing a particular brand again and again. The consumer has the perception that the particular brand has the qualities that will meet their expectations and identifies with the consumer at a personal level.
Why is Brand Loyalty Important?
Brand loyalty helps in building a strong customer base which in turn serves as a tool to surpass competitors and attain a competitive edge that is required to succeed in the marketplace.
Companies having strong brand loyalty customers experience repeated purchases of its products and services regardless of the fact that there is a change in price or convenience. Loyal customers of a particular brand are less likely to get influenced by the marketing efforts of competitors thereby, increasing the probability that these customers will continue using the products and services of a particular company.
Alongside this, companies who have built a strong brand loyalty also have the opportunity to enjoy increasing customer base. Loyal customers may turn into brand ambassadors for the company. This is because loyal customers are satisfied with the brand and will spread brand awareness providing the business costless marketing.
Difference between Brand Loyalty and Customer Loyalty
Brand loyalty is achieved when a customer actually uses the product or service of a company and is satisfied with its offerings. On the other side, customer loyalty is attained through coupons, extended warranties, incentive programs and free offers to make customers happy and persuade them to make return purchases.
The main difference between the two concepts is that customer loyalty is equal to what is in the wallet of the consumer whereas, brand loyalty equals what is in the mind of the consumers. Customer loyalty marketing programs mean having smaller margins with the expectation of higher volumes. Brand loyalty, on the flip side, can still achieve higher volume but with an added bonus of larger margins.
Customers who are brand loyal are simply-loyal. They are loyal to the business. Contrastingly, those who are loyal to customer loyalty programs are loyal to them and go for what works well for them.
Brand Loyalty Examples
Apple has a very strong loyal customer base and this is for several reasons. The company holds an effective brand strategy which allows it to have a passion for its products and customer experience, they guarantee the high quality of every product they have to offer, they continuously innovate in customer tech and they are willing to satisfy consumers’ aspirations. Through customers brand loyalty, Apple has reaped several benefits like increased rate of retention, increased referral rate, increased share of wallet as well as reduced marketing costs.
In the year 2016, Nike was on the top of the list for the most intimate relationship of the brand amongst 18-34 years olds. This is a great example of brand loyalty as it holds a combination of different qualities like fulfilment, fusing, and nostalgia. Nike is engaged in using B2C interaction so as to monitor the preferences of its consumers and to translate the experience of its in-store customers.