At one time, brands could gain consumer loyalty based on the quality and price of their product. But increased skepticism and competition are making it increasingly harder for brands to win faithful fans, according to CEB Iconoculture research.
Consumers say they’re loyal. In a recent CEB Iconoculture survey, more than half of consumers cited preference for brands in personal care products, food and non-alcoholic beverages and clothing, shoes and accessories. But preference doesn’t necessarily mean repeat purchase—which is how brands measure loyalty.
Blame it on choice. Today’s consumers are awash with options that cover the bases—quality, reliability, reputation, price and convenience. So they are digging deeper to find ways to differentiate and decide. They want an emotional affinity—an affordable, high-quality shampoo that’s easy to purchase and trustworthy. Ideally, consumers want a love connection.
Defining brand loyalty today.
Brand loyalty is made up of the fundamental, emotional, and transactional according to CEB Iconoculture research. The fundamentals are table stakes, representing quality, reliability, reputation, price and convenience. Once a brand has cleared this step, it moves to emotional consideration—do I trust it, love it, recommend it and feel good about buying it. Assuming a brand has these first two attributes locked down, it elevates to the coveted transactional phase of loyalty—considered first and purchased more frequently than others.
How to build brand loyalty.
For brands struggling to gain consumer loyalty, consider working to build trust and loyalty will follow. According to CEB Iconoculture research, brands earn trust when they stay true to themselves, listen to customer feedback and make changes, and produce products that are unique.
Increased trust will make consumers more inclined to return to that brand to make repeat purchases.
Three tips to gain loyalty and keep it.
- Don’t assume that a customer who is loyal today will be loyal tomorrow. Keep customers coming back with rewards programs, new products, and exclusive events.
- Know your consumer. What one person wants to see is not what another wants. Target consumers with what they are interested in and make it personal.
- Be authentic. Trust your brand and consumers will too. Don’t change your style to mimic another company. Stay true to the ideals that your company follows and be unique.
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