Brand loyalty and equity

Date of publication: June 15, 1998

Author: Ian D. Greig

Abstract:

Loyal buyers are direct contributors to brand equity. As brand image can explain the reasons for strong brand equity with choice modelling, so can it explain the reasons for the 'superpreference' exhibited by the loyal subgroup. Not only do superpreferers consequently rate their loyal brand far higher in image, but they have higher expectations and a different motivation. Benefits that motivate the loyal segment, however, should not be assumed to be motivating to new or marginal buyers: the latter have their own agenda which is usually different to the loyals. Relatively high numbers of loyal superpreferers can exist even for small brands, probably where there is a unique offering that makes it a niche brand. With an attitudinal measure of loyalty it is possible to track the reasons for changing loyalty within overall brand equity. With experience this can reveal aspects of motivation that behavioural loyalty cannot. Loyalty-building is a long-term activity that depends on getting all elements of the marketing mix right to achieve a 'superpreference' - everywhere and always consistent and so building the rich network of associations that make for the durable image.

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