Today, the way consumers perceive your brand can make or break brand loyalty. Learning how brand loyalty influences consumer behaviour is extremely beneficial for businesses, especially for those planning their brand’s marketing strategy.
Brand loyalty can be interpreted as the tendency of consumers to make the repeated decision to buy one brand’s product(s) instead of a competitor’s own. This behaviour can be cultivated over time through multiple avenues, such as promotional activities and continuously good experiences with your company.
Simply put, a majority of consumers are loyal to a brand because they believe you offer a better product and/or higher-quality service than anyone else. With strong brand recognition comes a much better chance of getting higher sales and increased customer referrals.
If a business desires to get ahead of its competitors, building a loyal customer base gives it the necessary competitive edge it needs to stand out in the marketplace. Let’s take a look at how brand loyalty influences consumer behaviour in 3 significant ways:
Familiarity breeds consistency. Consumers who are familiar and comfortable with a specific brand will typically return and buy more of the same product. Even if there is a price increase, these individuals are less likely to change their minds and will always come back, as long as the product quality is maintained or even improved.
Nowadays, brand loyalty is driven by high customer engagement. Many customers will give their full support to a brand that takes notice of them and appreciates their loyalty over time. For modern B2C businesses, this is primarily achieved through online events, competitions, surveys, and loyalty programs organized on social media platforms by the brand.
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Also known as word-of-mouth referral, a customer’s love for a brand may lead to them sharing it within their social circles, i.e., friends and family. If it is something particularly good, consumers have a strong tendency to recommend a brand to others, especially if that brand has maintained its loyalty.
Building and maintaining brand loyalty can be a delicate task for many brands because it often doesn’t take much to drive a customer to switch to a competitor. Sometimes it can be an unpopular product design; other times it may be due to a misinterpreted marketing message.
Fortunately, there are some concrete ways brands can improve their loyalty among their consumers:
This seems pretty obvious but being a brand that ensures customers receive optimum satisfaction from your products and services is a guaranteed way to improve brand loyalty. Being proactive helps you earn the consumers’ trust and provides a better understanding of how your brand/product is perceived.
Yes, getting high sales is desirable, but it’s more beneficial in the long term for the business to pay attention to customer complaints, address issues, and provide instant feedback and solutions on a personalized level.
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Customers will stop buying from brands that can’t maintain their standards. When your business expands its product range or service offerings, customers will still expect the same quality to be maintained.
If you want consumers to remain loyal to your brand or even switch from a competitor’s product to yours, always aim to be consistent in creating and delivering value. When your product or service surpasses expectations, consumer behaviour will be positively influenced.
Incentives are always attractive to consumers. Introduce loyalty programs to reward consumers for their continued commitment to your brand. Proven to be highly successful with B2C ecommerce platforms, this marketing strategy will help to strengthen your relationship with consumers, build trust, and even influence their purchase behaviour.
If structured and handled well, your loyalty program could also persuade new consumers who haven’t pledged loyalty to any specific brand to try out your products.
At the end of the day, most consumers will always spend their money on products that serve a purpose and solve their problems. Once they discover a product that meets their exact needs, consumers are quick to jump onto the next brand if they need to. Loyalty can be fickle in this case.
So, for certain industries like FMCG, businesses may need to have a plan to introduce new products that will continuously satisfy their users’ desires. Even if it is an improvement from the current product, it needs to be appealing and seem different. Just remember to always be adding value and customers will take notice.
Once a brand can ensure and maintain strong loyalty, your marketing efforts will be reduced because frequent purchasers of your brand’s product are less likely to be swayed by the marketing messages of competitors. Their brand loyalty will influence them to continue patronizing your business.
In the best-case scenario, loyal customers have the potential to become open advocates and brand ambassadors for your business. They will help promote the brand positively, effectively providing your company costless advertising.