Saturday, April 9, 2011



What is brand loyalty

Marketing involves activities necessary for the planning and delivery of products and services from you as the supplier to the customer, to satisfy the customer needs and to meet the organization objectives. Majority of organizations aspires hard to market leadership. So what does it take to be a market leader? Turns out it is not just attainable by a chosen few, yet in a knowledgeable economy it does require some intellect, a map to show the way ahead, the will to succeed and the team working for the common goal. Lifelong customer loyalty is the ultimate frontier for true leadership in today's intensely competitive marketplace.

What is Loyalty?
According to the dictionary, loyalty means being faithful to the cause, supportive of and having allegiance to. In free enterprise, repeat business, returning customers, frequent buyers and satisfied customers are the essence of loyalty. To better understand what loyalty is, let us examine four different types of loyalty. These are the most common loyalties found in the business realm.

Types of Loyalty
1. Product or brand loyalty
This kind of loyalty is based on a customer's preference for a type of product, level of service or a particular brand name. Most people are loyal to a business, product or service. For e.g. some of us only buy Colgate toothpaste, drink only Coke and wear Levi's jeans. Product or brand loyalty is usually based on experience or use. We've tried it, we like it, and we'll buy it until a better alternative comes along.

2. Deal loyalty
This type of loyalty is also known as coupon, incentive or value loyalty. I fly United Airlines because of the frequent flier program. However, my loyalty is not blind, but rather based on previous good experiences as well as incentives. Price-off coupons, two-for-one offers, zero percent incentives and price reductions are all aimed at attracting people and turning them into satisfied customers. While deal loyalty can be used as a tool to create product or brand loyalty, you must necessarily deliver the goods every time. Sometimes deal loyalty can backfire. Poor product performance and inferior service may actually drive customers away instead of making them more loyal. Remember you are only as good as your last customer memory.

3. Location loyalty
This type of loyalty can be defined as convenience loyalty. Most customers have the following human characteristics: they are lazy, short of time and basically creatures of habit. Therefore, if the location is easily accessible, adds to the basic comfort level and makes life less difficult and complicated, he will be loyal to your location, all other things considered equal.

4. Relationship loyalty
People prefer to do business with people they know and trust. Besides, we definitely prefer to do business with people we enjoy being around. For several years, we frequented a particular restaurant. The food was consistently good, the place was clean and the owner was friendly and knew our names. Often, the owner would be out in the dining area greeting and visiting with customers. Then the owner decided to sell the business. The new owner was a stranger and made absolutely no effort to get to know any of his customers. We did visit thereafter, but nevertheless, the magic was gone. Relationships are evidently important and business is still definitely about people.

The best-run brands recognize that a brand's identity is not comprised only of the brand's name, graphic identity, tagline and positioning, but it also is significantly impacted by the actions surrounding it.

Brand loyalty is something that every brand and company strives for and believes they can attain. As far as the company is concerned, to attain a high level of brand loyalty, all it takes is a bigger marketing budget, a new advertising campaign, and another creative agency.

Studies show that as brand loyalty goes up, consumers grow less sensitive to changes in the brand's price. Loyal customers are less likely to be sensitive to competitive promotions, driving down the marketing costs. As brand loyalty goes up, so does consumer's interest in trying out new products and services from that brand and most importantly, so does the brand's profitability.

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