Brand Loyalty's Influence On Consumer Behavior

In today's highly competitive environments, improving consumers' loyalty to brands permits marketers to maintain a comfortable and lasting position in the marketplace.

The new millennium is not just a new beginning; it is a continuation of trends in human behavior that have been following cyclical patterns throughout our country's history. Just because we have entered a new era does not mean we have to start from scratch when it comes to interpreting why certain consumers are loyal to certain brands, and what type of factors influence these allegiances.

Brand Loyalty is the consumer's conscious or unconscious decision, expressed through intention or behavior, to repurchase a brand continually. It occurs because the consumer perceives that the brand offers the right product features, image, or level of quality at the right price. Consumer behavior is habitual because habits are safe and familiar. In order to create brand loyalty, advertisers must break consumer habits, help them acquire new habits, and reinforce those habits by reminding consumers of the value of their purchase and encourage them to continue purchasing those products in the future.

The image surrounding a company's brand is the principal source of its competitive advantage and is therefore a valuable strategic asset. Unfortunately, many companies are not adept at disseminating a strong, clear message that not only distinguishes their brand from the competitors', but distinguishes it in a memorable and positive manner. The challenge for all brands is to avoid the pitfalls of portraying a muddled or negative image, and instead, create a broad brand vision or identity that recognizes a brand as something greater than a set of attributes that can be imitated or surpassed. In fact, a company should view its brand to be not just a product or service, but as an overall brand image that defines a company's philosophies. A brand needs more than identity; it needs a personality. Just like a person without attention-grabbing characteristics, a brand with no personality can easily be passed right over. A strong symbol or company logo can also help to generate brand loyalty by making it quickly identifiable.



From the design of a new product to the extension of a mature brand, effective marketing strategies depend on a thorough understanding of the motivation, learning, memory, and decision processes that influence what consumers buy Theories of consumer behavior have been repeatedly linked to managerial decisions involving development and launching of new products, segmentation, timing of market entry, and brand management. Subsequently, the issue of brand loyalty has been examined at great length. Branding is by far one of the most important factors influencing an item's success or failure in the marketplace, and can have a dramatic impact on how the "company behind the brand" is perceived by the buying public. In other words, the brand is not just a representation of a company's product; it is a symbol of the company itself, and that is where the core of brand loyalty lies.

© High Speed Ventures 2011