Brand Equity Series: Connect the Dots to Build Brand Loyalty
Building Brand Equity: Is this True Loyalty or Repeat Purchase?
Firstly, let’s not get confused with the differences between brand loyalty and repeat purchase. Humans are typically creatures of habit and so continue to purchase from a brand if that brand has kept its promise. Fear of the unknown can hold people back from looking elsewhere; better the devil you know, right? But this type of customer will probably not jump to our defense if ever there was a crisis, nor will this person tell their friends about how much they love the brand. A true brand advocate will.
Monitoring habitual consumers reassures us that we will maintain a predictable level of sales. However, to identify a brand advocates, we need a media intelligence tool. The simplest way to uncover our superfans is to filter social mentions by positive sentiment; we can also sort by most engaged audience members or impressions to identify advocates who are also social media influencers.
Because brand loyalty isn’t about being loyal to a product, it shouldn’t just be measured by the amount that a customer buys. Rather, we should be analysing the odds of customers switching to a competitor if we were to change a product feature, the price, or distribution method? If the answer is low, they’re a keeper (or more like they’ll keep us!)
The Brand Equity Domino Effect
Brand loyalty is both an input and output of brand equity. The truth is that all of the dimensions of brand equity are connected to each other. Without brand awareness, it’s difficult to form a brand image and attach associations to a brand such as credibility; and without associations, brand loyalty doesn’t exist. For example, one may be loyal to Fendi due to the status of owning one of their bags; here brand image influences brand loyalty. If we flip it and reverse it, brand loyalty can also increase awareness through heightened word of mouth coming from a brand’s army of fans. Therefore, in order to improve brand loyalty we have to connect the dots and look at the wider picture. This is when brand equity evaluation becomes important.
Read our previous posts on brand equity, brand image, brand credibility, and brand awareness to connect the dots and improve brand loyalty through the brand equity dimensions listed above. This will also improve the chances of sustained brand equity, thus killing two birds with one stone!