As I stand in the ice cream aisle of the local supermarket, I am looking for my one and only favorite brand of ice cream. Of course, all of the other brands are screaming out to me “Pick me! I’m on sale!” They can shout all they want — but it will never work on me. I want my favorite brand and that brand alone will go home with me.
Have you ever shared that experience? It doesn’t have to be ice cream … it can be the brand of car, clothes, shoes, or even places you buy gas. Watch your own behavior and I am sure you are a fan to certain brands at some level, even though you may not know it. The tendency to buy this way is called brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty is an unspoken vow from a customer to the brand. It is expressed through the repurchase of the same product or same service again and again. How loyal are you? Let’s find out.
Philip Kotler, an influential marketing professor and executives, defines four patterns of “Brand Loyalty” behavior:
1) Hard-core Loyals — These are the consumers who buy the brand all the time.
2) Split Loyals — These people are loyal to two or three brands.
3) Shifting Loyals — Consumers who move from one brand to another.
4) Switchers — These consumers have no brand loyalty (i.e. possibly deal-prone -constantly looking for bargains or vanity prone – looking for something different).
Think about your favorite brands. Which type “Brand Loyalist” are you? The only way to find out is to observe your own behavior… then ask yourself why you feel the way you do about these brands. This may provide interesting insights as to what you can do to make your organization’s brand more attractive to others.
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