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THE CONCEPT OF BRAND LOYALTY : VARIATIONS FROM THEORY TO THEORY AND MARKETERS POINT OF VIEW AND IMPLICATIONS

Nowadays, there are so many brands competing with each other and countless number of brands introducing themselves into the market place that achieving brand loyalty seems to be tougher and tougher. There are several components to determine and evaluate prior to saying that a customer is loyal to a brand. Making customers loyal to a specific brand requires some time, efforts, devotion and resources. Thus, when marketers reach brand loyalty from some of their customers, they can feel satisfied and accomplished because this means that their implications have been nicely carried out and that their determination towards achieving their goal has paid off.

Brand loyalty: what does it truly mean? Theories

Brand loyalty can be first defined as consecutives purchases along with a feeling of satisfaction towards a specific brand along with its products or services. Before I go any further, there are 2 well known theories regarding loyalty that I would like to discuss. The first one is called behavioral loyalty. According to behavioral scientists, this theory relies on the fact that consumers first try a brand without really knowing it and this first trial is reinforced through satisfaction which make them come back and repurchase the same products or try a new one. To award credit to this theory, according to Harley Davidson, this theory relies on observable promotional stimuli which implies that the first purchase is mainly based on promotions or another factor could be that there is no other alternative at this moment. Since there is no alternative, purchases can become an habitude which leads to brand loyalty.

The second one is named attitudinal theory and according to cognitive scientists’s perspective, brand loyalty would be based on feelings towards a brand and its products. Therefore, this theory involves that consumers already developed feelings and perceptions such as convenience, efficiency, usefulness security or trust towards the brand prior to purchasing one of its products.

Concrete and real examples for each of these 2 loyalty theories

Such an interesting fact to know is that once you acquired 4 purchases, you are considered as a loyal customer. The following exemple is an illustration emphasizing the attitudinal theory. Let’s assume that every time you need a new legging or new running shoes you go to Nike, this means that you developed an interest and positive emotions, feelings  and/or perceptions towards the brand. In addition, purchasing from Nike doubtlessly provides you with a sense of security, stability and confidence due to its positioning in the marketplace. If you are confident, this implies that you strongly trust Nike’s products which means that you developed an effective, trustworthy and durable relationship towards the brand. If you are loyal to a brand, price is no longer the first factor you take into consideration but instead, you will emphasize your analysis on products quality, consistency and effectiveness prior to making a decision.

The following is an example of the behavioral loyalty theory. Let’s assume that you just walked into a grocery stores. You are craving for a chocolate tablet but you really don’t know which brand to choose. You see that Hershey is making a promotion which is buy 2 get 1 free. You decided to try and you strongly appreciated the chocolate taste. Thus, next time you went grocery shopping, you purchased that same brand again. At first, before you saw the promotion, you probably wouldn’t have thought of purchasing chocolates from that brand but you made your decision based on observable promotional stimuli which encouraged you to try that particular brand.

Brand loyalty from marketer’s perspective In which regards marketers, brand loyalty is the result of enduring efforts towards driving their brand to success. The more there is brand loyalty, the more competitive advantage marketers will gain over other brands which will result in some additional sales and revenues. Additionally, the more customers are loyal to a brand such as Nike, the more this brand will increase its market share making it a best seller or a very famous and trustworthy brand from people’s perspective. Lastly, marketers must keep in mind that the more customers are loyal to a brand, the more they will save money. Obviously, they will still have to spend money on marketing, promotions, advertising but costs and ressources will be reduced since advertising efforts won’t be as tough as a brand trying to implant itself into the market place. Although a brand has developed a strong customer brand loyalty, there is always room for improvement and marketers must always make sure to find innovative ways to introduce new products in order for the brand to keep improving and sharing its multiple benefits

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