Business / Business Loyalty
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Autor: anton 03 September 2010
Words: 1187 | Pages: 5
â€œ Brand loyalty-that certain something that makes a consumer keep buying over and over again-is an elusive quality. It begins with the consumerâ€™s preference for a product on the basis of objective reasons-the drink is sweeter, the paper towel more absorbent. The brand name is the customerâ€™s guarantee that he/she will get what they expectâ€(Fisher). As far back as companies go the main question asked when selling their product, how can I get people to purchase my product? This is still a very important issue in the day- to- day operations of any company, but now they are asking a whole new question. In today's fast changing markets, where people are bombarded by advertisements everywhere, people are starting to realize that they don't need to stick with one product for life, and they see that there are many substitutes available. As a result of this new type of market, companies have started to put a large effort towards the development of Brand loyalty. I shall explore the topic of Band loyalty and explain its importance in today's business market, and how it motivates a consumer to purchase a given product or service.
The phrase Brand loyalty refers to consumers sticking with a brand out of feeling of commitment for that brand. "Consumers attachments to certain brands are so powerful that this loyalty is often considered as a product attribute in and of its selfâ€(Solomon). Solomonâ€™s quote, is showing the attachment that people feel when they purchase a product for a long time, and are still very happy with it, is a huge plus in its self. People enjoy the luxury of not having to scavenge around the supermarket in search of a new product. Brand loyalty is also very attractive to the companies since they enjoy their work being easier, and less costly. It is less expensive and less time consuming to keep old customers, rather than spend money and time advertising towards new ones. "Furthermore, companies with faithful customers tend to be less susceptible to economic down turns or new competitors"(Harrell).
There are numerous ways that a company can create Brand loyalty. When the consumers can name the brand for themselves, they are more likely to care about it. To help create that relationship many companies create an entire culture around their brand. By giving the consumer some degree of culture in addition to the product you are raising the level of devotion and satisfaction for the consumer. Ben & Jerry's for example created a culture of Hippie-era values and activism, this is one of the main reasons for their continued success. Another way to create loyalty is to make donations to charities; these companies might say that a percentage of the money would go to a specific charity. This makes the consumer feel better about the amount of money they spent, and they also will feel good about the company for being charitable, which in return will create Brand loyalty. With the ever-growing concern for the environment many consumers now look for companies that take conservation in mind when they make their products. For example many car manufacturers are starting to make cars that are friendly towards the environment. This not only attracts people to buy the car, but it also tends to make them loyal to that brand. Customer service is another attribute that can create Brand Loyalty. When people have problems, or questions about a product that they have purchased, or plan to purchase it is good to have people available to field their questions. This makes people feel that the company cares about them, and that they are not alone when they have a problem. This is the kind of personal attention that the consumer values therefore making them loyal to a company.
The best kind of loyalty is Brand insistence, this is when the buyer insists on a particular brand, and won't except any substitutes. This is more common when dealing with specialty items such as designer clothing, and brand name prescription drugs. Examples of Brand insistence can also be see in simple situations like when you go to the movies, and you ask for a Coke, but they only have Pepsi. A person who is Brand insistence will not drink the Pepsi. Some products have such devoted costumers that when asking for that type of product they refer to it using the brand name, for example, Kleenex, or band-aid, instead of tissue or bandage. This is very good for the companies since they lose no market share to substitute items.
Advertising is another way that contributes to the creation of Brand loyalty. If you are exposed to a series of commercials (e.g. Budweiser commercials) for a long time, you might begin to feel attachment towards that company. By watching those silly frogs, chameleons and ferrets, people begin to associate those specific actions, with Budweiser. They start to think the people behind the business side of Budweiser are a bunch of fun people having a good time. This is one of the factors that spark Brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty is a very important issue in today's market place. As mentioned above there are so many companies with similar products, and services, by developing Brand loyalty it gives companies the important edge that they need in order to separate themselves from the bunch. It is shown that by creating a culture inside, and around a company it is easier to make that important connection with the consumer, which makes them feel like their getting more than a product. It shows that people want to belong to something. For example, the hippies that go to Ben & Jerrys, or people, who go to Starbucks, are getting more than ice cream and coffee. These people are getting an experience that cannot be matched elsewhere. The question is what sounds better if someone asked you what did you do last night? I got coffee at the local coffee shop or I got coffee at Starbucks. When people think of Starbucks they think of the big comfortable chairs and all the people, some even have a fireplace, and newspapers, and board games. Starbucks has created a culture of sitting and drinking coffee and this has become a big big business. This culture is what has made them as successful as they are today.
It is as easy as saying if you don't adapt to the times you will not survive in this new market place, so the companies that don't develop Brand loyalty will be at a serious disadvantage. These companies will lose market share, and ultimately pay the price, and that is them going out of business. There is no real excuse for this to happen to any company, considering that there are so many methods, which one can create Brand loyalty.
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