Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

by | Dec 5, 2019 | Public Relations

Once thought to be dead in the new retail age, brand loyalty appears to be coming back stronger than ever. In a new survey of over 2,000 consumers in the U.S. from eCommerce marketing platform Yotpo, nearly 9 of 10 professed loyalty to brands, with nearly a quarter (24.82 percent) saying they’re in fact more brand loyal this year compared to last.

“This year’s data showing continued strong brand loyalty among consumers supports the idea of a brand renaissance, the same phenomenon fueling the rise of direct-to-consumer and growth of the modern eCommerce industry,” said Tomer Tagrin, CEO and co-founder of Yotpo, in a news release. “But the study also reveals that loyalty is hard won. Most consumers consider themselves loyal to only a handful of brands.”

The company’s 2018 survey found a fifth of consumers saying they’re moreloyal, marking a 27.9 percent uptick in this segment. This supports Tagrin’s thesis that the shift to direct-to-consumer (D2C) efforts are powering a brand renaissance.

Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

MVMT created a referral program to help their best customers spread the love.

Yotpo’s annual brand loyalty survey examines American consumers’ sentiment towards brands, and the role of rewards programs in harnessing and cultivating that loyalty.

“To win, brands need to stay at the top of their game by offering amazing products at a fair price and creating valuable experiences worth coming back to,” Tagrin added. “The survey shows that even loyalty programs need to excite to drive engagement.”

The D2C approach isn’t just for digital natives; it also increasingly adopted by established brands who figured out that every channel—from their eCommerce sites to their stores to everything in between—is a critical opportunity to impress consumers so that they’ll keep coming back.

Takeaways from the study include insights on the state of brand loyalty today and how brands and merchants can capture and keep their customers’ interest in the long run.

Consumers care about brands

Nine out of 10 (90.2 percent) consumers consider themselves equally or more brand loyal compared to a year ago.

Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

How many brands are you loyal to?

Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

Asked to define their brand loyalty, consumers polled overwhelmingly characterized it as repeat purchasing (67.8 percent), followed by “love” for the brand (39.5 percent), and finally, preference despite price (37.7 percent).

What does being ‘brand loyal’ mean to you?

Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

For consumers, product is still the point of entry and departure for brand loyalty, a validation of the “hero product” concept that are the specialty of modern D2C brands.

Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

Consumers that are loyal to a brand are more than willing to refer that brand (59 percent) to their friends and family. They are also willing to spend more with that brand (36 percent) eschewing Amazon or cheaper options.

For brands they are loyal to, consumers are willing to:

Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

Brand loyalty needs to be earned and re-earned

What hasn’t changed in 2019? It still takes a lot of purchases to cultivate loyalty. Before considering themselves loyal, shoppers need to buy from the same company:

  • Five or more times (36 percent v. 37 percent)
  • Three times (33 percent, no change)
  • Four times (17 percent, no change)
  • Two times (13.2 percent v. 12.4 percent)

Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

Sol de Janeiro keeps loyal customers engaged with fun, branded swag. 

Impact of brand loyalty to holiday shopping

New for 2019! Consumers are more likely to do their holiday shopping with brands they love (41 percent) and a majority find customer reviews helpful (80 percent) when researching or shopping for gifts online.

When shopping for gifts, which of these are true?

Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

When researching or shopping for gifts online, which of these are the most helpful?

Brand loyalty is on the comeback trail—is a new brand renaissance taking shape?

Read more about the research here.

Yotpo’s 2019 State of Consumer Loyalty presents findings from a survey of 4,200 U.S. adult (18+) consumers, conducted by Pollfish for Yotpo in October 2019.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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