Brand Loyalty through Authenticity January 2012

About This Report

Brand Loyalty: Brand loyalty is the heart and soul of every company. Billions of dollars each year go to create it; without it, a company will die.

Creation of Loyalty: When a brand meets or exceeds functional benefits and meets customers' need for certain psychological benefits, the brand engenders brand loyalty.

Tricks of the Trade: Competitive strategies, whether they involve market penetration or market development, need to consider consumer identities first.

The critical goal for companies interested in creating loyal relationships with customers is to create offers that consistently deliver identity-appropriate benefits to the right groups of consumers—to create an authentic relationship. When a brand meets or exceeds functional benefits and meets customers' need for certain psychological benefits, the brand engenders brand loyalty. Given the significant company benefits, it's not surprising that companies spend considerable resources to increase brand loyalty. Loyal customers not only consistently buy a brand but also invest time in brand advocacy. Because many brands within a product category are often functionally at parity, the key ingredient of brand loyalty develops when a brand resonates with a customer's identity. Loyalty arises from a potentially deep relationship between the customer and a brand: "This brand is for me!" The resulting brand attachment (loyalty) can mimic an attachment that a person has with other humans.

In recent years, brand attachment has been at the center of an increasing amount of research activity; the goal is to uncover some universal truths about drivers of loyalty. These efforts are particularly important because of the ever-increasing demand for companies to offer genuinely appealing—authentic—consumer products. In an era of social media, when the customers' voice is particularly loud, a misstep could derail brand loyalty, brand equity, and sales.

Table of Contents

Brand Loyalty through Authenticity 2
Innovators 4
Thinkers 5
Achievers 6
Experiencers 7
Summary 8