An customer’s beliefs, attitudes and behaviours, how they’re influenced by peer groups, their socialisation, their education, their life experiences and how they want to be perceived are all hugely influential factors in shaping how someone selects and interacts with brands.
There are a plethora of loyalty motivators but in the majority of cases, they can be split into two types – emotional loyalty and functional loyalty. You could have a functional loyalty to Renault because you trust the brand and you’ve made the logical decision based on past experiences, but your emotional loyalty is to Porsche because you love the cars and the perceived lifestyle.
Emotional loyalty is about feelings and experiences; it doesn’t always deliver to the bottom line, but it does create relationships and advocacy. Conversely, whilst functional loyalty does deliver to the bottom line, it could be argued that functional loyalty isn’t really loyalty at all, but cognitive ease and habit. Functional consumers buy from you because it’s easy or affordable or directly fulfils an immediate need.
Successful brands are those which can reach both emotional and functional consumers. It’s about recognising loyalty as a broad and diverse spectrum, and having a foot across all shades of the spectrum.
To drive true loyalty, companies need to engage with their customers in a dialogue in its purest form that is completely transparent and honest, with no other reward or incentive attached. Asking your customers for reviews, for example, gives them a chance to provide feedback and develop a relationship with you that isn’t just fundamentally about a transaction.
Loyalty, in the true meaning of the word – loyalty to your partner, to your kids, to the people and places and things that mean the most to you – are deeply ingrained into your psyche, and it’s the same with brands; you pop into the supermarket and automatically put a box of Twinings Tea into your trolley without even thinking about it.
Real loyalty is loyalty that’s working at an unconscious level; and when brands achieve that, they’ll have your custom for life.« Back