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What Is Brand Loyalty?

Tesco is my favourite supermarket.

I’m happy every time I walk in there. The customer service is excellent and I dread the day I live somewhere where it may be inaccessible.

It doesn’t matter that other supermarkets may be closer or have cheaper products. There’s something about the brand that resonates with me and keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s their pub subs and chocolate cakes, we’ll never know.

But the point is, in the ten years I’ve lived in Birmingham, England, this brand has achieved something every business wants: loyalty.

Brand loyalty is a concept that feels like lightning in a bottle – so hard to capture. Let’s dive into what it is and how your brand can build it with your audience.

Brand loyalty is the dedication a customer feels toward a brand that pushes them to consistently buy their products and/or services, regardless of competitors, price, or convenience.

Everyone has brands they feel loyal to. For some, it’s their coffee shop down the street. For others, it’s their internet provider. It could even be a brand you’ve never purchased from but feel connected to. That pull you feel typically comes from one place: trust.

But before we get too deep into it, let’s go through the difference between customer loyalty and brand loyalty. The former relies on your products and/or services, while the latter rests on your brand’s image.

To earn customer loyalty, your brand needs to serve that customer’s financial needs and satisfy their expectations.

Brand loyalty, on the other hand, is driven by a consumer’s connection to your brand. Loyalists are swayed by factors other than the product(s) or service (s) you offer.

For instance, you can increase a customer’s loyalty with the right pricing strategy, discounts, and customer service. To earn brand loyalty, however, you’ll need to connect with them on a personal level.

A loyal customer says, “I trust your product,” a brand-loyal customer says, “I trust your brand.

Levels of Brand Loyalty

Not all brand loyalists are created equal. This section breaks down how someone can start as someone who simply knows your brand to someone who is loyal to it.

Brand Recognition

Recognition is the first step in brand loyalty. Before a consumer can form an impression of your brand, they first need to be exposed to it. Once they recognize your brand, it may be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a certain product or service.

For instance, you may not spend a lot of time shopping for jewellery, but you might recognise Tiffany & Co. and associate it with luxury, romance, and beauty.

This recognition is due to the brand’s extensive marketing efforts to become a household name and reach audiences that align or fall outside of their ideal buyer persona.

First impressions can last – so if you’re looking to build a loyal audience, it’s important that you invest your resources in making those initial touchpoints positive ones. Given the digital age we live in, this is most likely through your website and social media accounts.

Brand Preference

When someone prefers your brand, it means they’ll choose your brand over another if all things are equal. However, they may still be swayed by competitors taking additional steps to appeal to your audience.

This is why it’s important to create a robust brand identity and maintain it at every point in your company’s growth.

Brand Insistence

At this level, your brand is no longer compared to other competitors. It’s the highest level of loyalty and the level every business is striving for with its audience.

While a brand loyalist can reach brand insistence without ever purchasing a product, this is most common in customers. If a consumer already identifies with your brand and you provide an easy shopping experience plus a good product or service, you can turn a one-time buyer into a brand evangelist.

Brand Insistence

At this level, your brand is no longer compared to other competitors. It’s the highest level of loyalty and the level every business is striving for with its audience.

While a brand loyalist can reach brand insistence without ever purchasing a product, this is most common in customers. If a consumer already identifies with your brand and you provide an easy shopping experience plus a good product or service, you can turn a one-time buyer into a brand evangelist.

Why is brand loyalty important?

A loyal audience generates revenue. Their connection to your brand translates into consistent purchases that remain as your brand grows and expands.

loyal customer may leave if your pricing no longer works with their budget. In contrast, a brand loyalist is not motivated by price and will likely continue supporting your brand through changes in the market.

Brand loyalty also means free promotion. A loyalist doesn’t just support; they promote your brand to those around them. Word-of-mouth marketing is highly effective and can bring audiences who are on the fence to your side.

Every time a consumer endorses your brand, it brings you that much closer to earning a new customer. So, with this in mind, why not build that relationship with your current audience and let them grow your base alongside you?

Another reason to invest in building this loyalty is that it’s sustainable. Because it’s rooted in something deeper, it lasts longer. The only way to sever that connection is if your brand steers away from its identity and no longer resonates with consumers.

Brand Loyalty Statistics

Below are some interesting statistics on brand loyalty:

  • To most consumers, one of the most valued aspects of shopping is earning rewards or loyalty points.
  • 67% of consumers say they need to trust the brand behind a product or service. Having a good reputation isn’t enough.
  • It takes less than a second for a consumer to form an opinion on your brand after looking at your website.
  • 40% of consumers between 18 to 34 years old trust a brand because of an influencer.

 

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