I typically fill out questionnaires when they are sent to me just because I know that, as a marketing person, often times I have been waiting for members to fill out a survey that I have sent. Plus it is a really great way to get “free” stuff. I recently received a survey that got me thinking. One of the questions asked on the survey was:
What drives loyalty to your favourite brands?
I know there are a lot of things that play into customer loyalty, much of which is perceived value. There are many sociological and technical reasons that brands stick so close to us but I wanted to answer this question from my own personal reasoning. What makes me loyal to a brand?
One of the largest takeaways I have learned in my time here at CoreSolutions is that trust, above all else, is what motivates my purchasing decisions. My entire experience with a brand plays into that trust. Product reliability, customer service, functionality, convenience, and familiarity all play integral parts of my product selection. All of those factors really boil down to trust and they are not exclusive of one another. A product has to excel in multiple areas and meet expectations in all of the others in order to be my “go to brand”. It is a tall order to earn brand loyalty from me.
Of course there are other motivating factors as well. Exclusivity is a great example of loyalty being forcefully built. There are times where a product or service will only be available if you use a specific company. Video Games often have exclusive releases and, being a Linux user at home, I see many programs that will not run in a Linux environment. This does create a lot of brand familiarity to products that do work with other products I own. This strategy can be dangerous as your clients could get fed up with not being able to use certain products that they want and move to a different supplier.
What is odd is that I can’t think of a single time that price was the motivating factor in my loyalty. Price may be a large factor in a single purchase decision but if the other attributes are not met or exceeded, there will be little trust and loyalty toward a brand.
Price promotions are great at getting a foot in the door and if you are an insurance company or internet service provider, the challenge of switching for another provider might contribute to your customer loyalty but at the end of the day – am I loyal to my ISP or insurance company? Not really. It is just such a hassle to switch that I have avoided it for so long.
So what does this mean? It means that in order for you to get me as a loyal return customer, you have to earn my trust through a variety of factors, not offer me the best price.
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