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Brand Loyalty v Brand Convenience

Consumer behaviour is constantly changing and with the number of brands available in our reach, it’s no wonder we are spoilt for choice.

But what influences our purchase decisions and should you focus on building a loyal customer base or focus on delivering a convenient shopping experience?

Marketing insights allow us to identify the reasons customers buy from brands, whether it’s yours or a competitor. Many factors influence their decision making, including cost, brand appeal, convenience, features and more. Once you know what influences your customer base to buy your products (or similar products) you can build on it and turn them into loyal customers.

What is Brand Loyalty?

Brand loyalty can be described in many ways. Every person will have their definition to share with you. We think the best way to describe it is “The pattern which shows how consumer behaviour is affected by their commitment to a specific brand or product which results in repeat purchases over time.”

As an example, we’ll take PG Tips. A majority of the nation’s favourite Tea Bags brand, including us. People who have brand loyalty towards PG Tips will not buy another brand of tea. This may be because the other brands were not up to scratch or the quality and taste of the chosen product are by far superior to the rest. Every customer’s journey towards building loyalty to a brand will be different, but that’s what makes it so so special.

Even if a customers desired product is not available at their “convenience” they won’t buy a competitors product and will even travel further just to complete their purchase. In a lot of cases, even after travelling, if the product is still not available – they’ll delay the purchase until they can purchase the brand of their choice. Similarly online, they’ll wait for their desired products to come into stock, rather than purchase from another brand.

It’s not just the product, even the retailer will affect consumer behaviour and habits. Amazon is a great example of this. If a certain product is available from several online retailers, a lot of people will opt to complete the purchase with Amazon rather than anyone else. This is because they’re loyal to the brand, who have offered them a complete service for years, with little to no hiccups. It’s a brand they can trust and sometimes just can’t be beaten.

Why is Brand Loyalty important?

Brand loyalty helps build a loyal customer base. Let’s have a look at some of the top brands in the world such as Apple and Nike. Their loyal customers will not shop with competitors and will still purchase from Apple and Nike regardless of any increase in price. iPhones are a great example of this, they increase in price each year but the sales continue to grow at staggering rates. This is thanks to Brand Loyalty which in some cases has been built over 10+ years.

Loyal customers serve as advocates for your brand. They’ll always sing the praises of their favourite brands, to friends and family. This is almost free-of-charge marketing, which helps you build brand awareness at the same time. This gives you the chance to attract new customers off the back of the strong recommendations from loyal customers.

What is Brand Convenience?

On the other end of the marketing spectrum, you’ll find brand convenience. This is when consumers don’t care about brand loyalty, they’ll choose to purchase brands which are, you guessed it, convenient to them. This might be the cost of the product, availability, speed, features, and so on.

Brand convenience is all about accessibility, and how easily a customer can purchase desired items. This doesn’t mean you can’t build a loyal customer base by targeting convenience, it’s up to the value and appeal of your product to then do so. Consumer behaviour is always changing and what once was considered convenient might no longer be. Delivering convenience can now mean personalising the shopping experience for your customers to make it smooth and user-friendly.

What do consumers want?

Technology is evolving each day, and tech-savvy consumers recognise this. They want on-demand services, where the interaction and browsing experience is tailored for them. They don’t want to spend hours on end researching which brand they should be buying. They want to see marketing which appeals to them through the channels they use, which in most cases is the web and social media. This influences their decision making a lot.

Consumers also want to order from brands through their mobile devices, with ease. So this means targeting them on their mobile devices when they are more likely to follow through with the purchase. The recent COVID-19 crisis has changed a lot of people’s shopping routines and we expect online and in particular, online shopping on mobiles to keep gaining traction.

The popularity of voice-controlled devices and wearable devices has also changed consumer behaviour. “Alexa order toilet paper” which would’ve sounded crazy a few years ago, doesn’t as much now. The future is heading towards consumers being more familiar with even more ways to purchase their goods.

Morning conversations like these will become more frequent:

“Alexa, place an order for cereal”
“Sure, I can order Rice Krispies or Coco Pops based on your order history”
“Make that Corn Flakes!”
“Certainly, placing an order for Corn Flakes… it will be delivered tomorrow.”

Which should you choose?

Should you focus on brand loyalty or brand convenience? That is the golden question. It’s a difficult question which we’re not going to give you a straightforward answer to because both can be important for your brand. It all depends on your brand, your audience and how you want to position yourself. We think in most cases, a hybrid answer might just be the perfect solution for your brand.

Creating a brand which appeals to the target audience, is the first step. From there on you can choose which direction you want to head towards. Both sides have their advantages and disadvantages. Such as creating an emotional and deeper connection with your brand – which can only be obtained by Brand Loyalty.

Brand Loyalty can lead to a strong, loyal customer base, as we mentioned before. This can help you survive and thrive through tough economic climates and negative PR situations, take Samsung for example, despite the exploding batteries on the Note 7 – they continue to be one of the leading brands of today thanks to their loyal customer base.

Implementing a hybrid approach will allow you to capture a wider audience, which includes the younger tech-savvy consumers who prefer convenience over loyalty. This will not only make your brand more approachable for first-time buyers but can eventually lead to them coming back for your product multiple times, slowly building loyalty towards it.

If you need to speak to someone regarding your brand and the direction you should be heading towards, get in touch with us today. Email us at hello@theiirthcompany.com and one of our team will get back to you shortly.

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