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January 14, 2019
Much has been made in recent years about the decline in brand loyalty in the digital age. With the increase of consumer choices and the growing emphasis on convenience, it’s harder than ever for brands to cultivate and keep loyal customers.
Just what is the state of brand loyalty going into 2019? To find out, we surveyed 5,000 people about how they view brand loyalty, including what keeps them loyal to brands and what would make them switch loyalties.
Read on to learn more about the brand loyalty habits of consumers in 2019, or jump forward to learn:
How Loyal are Customers in 2019?
According to our survey, just under half of customers — 43 percent — consider themselves to be loyal to brands. Overall, the concept of brand loyalty is changing in an increasingly digital and diversified world.
In past decades brand loyalty was easier to come by, as shoppers routinely frequented the same establishments and bought the same familiar brands. In fact, previous generations may have bought the same tried-and-true household products like laundry detergent or kitchen cleaning supplies for decades. Today’s shoppers, however, have more choice than ever, in terms of both brick-and-mortar stores and varied online options.
Our study found that women are more likely to be brand loyal than men. In fact, women are 15 percent more likely to consider themselves brand loyal.
What keeps them loyal varies, however — while both men and women consider product quality to be the most important factor in brand loyalty, women are more likely to be swayed by price while men are more likely to take customer service into account.
Despite the fact that the shift away from brand loyalty is traditionally viewed as a recent phenomenon attributed to younger generations, our study found that members of the youngest generation (approximately within the Generation Z cohort) are the most likely to consider themselves loyal to brands. Fifty-two percent of respondents within that age range said they considered themselves loyal to brands.
Conversely, consumers older than 65 are actually the least likely to consider themselves loyal to brands, with only 36 percent responding that they consider themselves brand loyal.
Causes for the generational divide vary, but possible reasons the younger generation may be more loyal to brands include greater connection to brands due to social media and more emphasis on authenticity and corporate responsibility.
What Makes Customers Loyal?
Despite the emphasis today’s consumer places on convenience, product quality still ranks as the most important factor in keeping customers loyal to brands. In fact, 40 percent of respondents ranked product quality as the number one reason that they stay loyal to a brand.
Conversely, 32 percent of people — about one in three — said that poor product quality was the thing most likely to make them switch their brand loyalty.
In addition to product quality, other factors in keeping customers loyal include price, at 12 percent, and good customer service, at 8 percent.
The Effect of Brand Loyalty on Customer Retention and Sales
Despite the cultural shift regarding brand loyalty in recent years, it remains one of the most important factors building a successful business in the long-term. After all, brand loyalty is a crucial step in customer retention and repeat purchases, which leads to long-term revenue and growth.
For example, our study found that 27 percent of customers agreed that they buy other products and services from their favorite brands only because of the brand, demonstrating how powerful cultivating customer loyalty can be when it comes to generating sales.
What’s more, over half of respondents agreed that they recommend products and services from their favorite brands to others, an important factor considering that word-of-mouth referrals traditionally generate more sales than paid advertising.
While the dynamics of cultivating brand loyalty have certainly changed in the instant-gratification era, it remains an important metric for brand success. To drive loyalty, look to cultivating authentic relationships with customers through emotional connections, enticing customers with deals and coupons, and above all, placing emphasis on delivering a quality product.
For more information on how to cultivate customer loyalty, take a look at this coupon statistics article about how offering deals influences the buyer purchase journey.