Synopsis Brand Loyalty

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Introduction
Brand Loyalty
The American Marketing Association defines brand loyalty as: 1. "The situation in which a consumer generally buys the same manufacturer-originated product or service repeatedly over time rather than buying from multiple suppliers within the category" (sales promotion definition). 2. "The degree to which a consumer consistently purchases the same brand within a product class" (consumer behavior definition). In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, 69 percent responded that they found the "loyalty" metric very useful. When consumers become committed to your brand and make repeated purchases over time. Brand loyalty is a result of consumer behaviour and is affected by a person’s preferences. Loyal customers will consistently purchase products from their preferred brands, regardless of convenience or price. Companies will often use different marketing strategies to cultivate loyal customers, be it is through loyalty programs (i.e. rewards programs) or trials and incentives (i.e. sales and free gifts). Companies that successfully cultivate loyal customers also develop brand ambassadors-consumers that will market a certain brand and talk positively about it among their friends. This is free word-of-mouth marketing for the company and is often very effective.

Purpose
Brand loyalty, in marketing, consists of a consumer's commitment to repurchase or otherwise continue using the brand and can be demonstrated by repeated buying of a product or service, or other positive behaviors such as word of mouth advocacy. Examples of brand loyalty promotions

* My Coke Rewards
* Pepsi Stuff
* Marriott Rewards

Construction
Brand loyalty is more than simple repurchasing, however. Customers may repurchase a brand due to situational constraints (such as vendor lock-in), a lack of viable alternatives, or out of convenience. Such loyalty is referred to as "spurious loyalty". True brand loyalty exists when customers have a high relative attitude toward the brand which is then exhibited through repurchase behavior. This type of loyalty can be a great asset to the firm: customers are willing to pay higher prices, they may cost less to serve, and can bring new customers to the firm. For example, if Joe has brand loyalty to Company A he will purchase Company A's products even if Company B's are cheaper and/or of a higher quality. From the point of view of many marketers, loyalty to the brand — in terms of consumer usage — is a key factor.

Usage rate
Most important of all, in this context, is usually the 'rate' of usage, to which the Pareto 80-20 Rule applies. Kotler's 'heavy users' are likely to be disproportionately important to the brand (typically, 20 percent of users accounting for 80 percent of usage — and of suppliers' profit). As a result, suppliers often segment their customers into 'heavy', 'medium' and 'light' users; as far as they can, they target 'heavy users'.

Loyalty
A second dimension, however, is whether the customer is committed to the brand. Philip Kotler, again, defines four patterns of behaviour: 1. Hard-core Loyals - who buy the brand all the time.
2. Split Loyals - loyal to two or three brands.
3. Shifting Loyals - moving from one brand to another.
4. Switchers - with no loyalty (possibly 'deal-prone', constantly looking for bargains or 'vanity prone', looking for something different).

Factors influencing brand loyalty
It has been suggested that loyalty includes some degree of pre-dispositional commitment toward a brand. Brand loyalty is viewed as multidimensional construct. It is determined by several distinct psychological processes and it entails multivariate measurements. Customers' perceived value, brand trust, customers' satisfaction, repeat purchase behavior, and commitment are found to be the key influencing factors of brand loyalty. Commitment and repeated purchase behavior are considered as...
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