Table of contents
2.0 Brand loyalty
2.1. Loyalty typologies
2.2 Purchase patterns
3.0 Store loyalty
3.1 Different definitions of store loyalty
3.2 The “What” and the “How” factors
3.3 Store’s interests in customer loyalty
4.0 Customer satisfaction
4.1 Example: Customer satisfaction in the
This report gives an idea of what customer loyalty is, why it is important for businesses and how it might be achieved by marketers. It focuses on brand and store loyalty. Concerning brand loyalty, it aims to explain different loyalty typologies and purchase patterns. As for store loyalty, it provides several propositions to define store loyalty and categorizes factors by which this loyalty is influenced. Furthermore, this paper names the importance of customer loyalty for businesses. Moreover, it faces customer satisfaction and its impact on customer loyalty, providing an example from research in the telecommunication sector. Finally, it provides recommendations for marketers who strive to gain customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The aim of this report is to provide an idea of what loyalty is how it can be achieved and why it is important for businesses. This report focuses on brand and store loyalty. Furthermore it points out what customer satisfaction is and what it means to a business. It analyses the relation between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, using customer satisfaction in the telecommunication sector as an example.
Loyalty is the regular repurchase of a brand or from a store, based on a commitment towards the specific brand or store (Neal, Quester & Hawkins 2002). A reason why marketers try to achieve customer loyalty is positive word-of-mouth advertising. A loyal customer is much more likely to practice positive word-of-mouth advertising than a merely satisfied customer (Schiffman, Bednall, Cowley, O’Cass, Watson & Kanuk 2001). Moreover, loyal customer are much less price-sensitive than switchers and thereby offer the company the possibility to sell their products at a higher price (Lawson , Tidwell, Rainbird, Loudon and Della Bitta 1996). Still, the main reason why it is important for marketers to achieve their customer’s loyalty is the enormous difference between the costs of keeping a loyal customer and gaining a new one (Clopton, Stoddard & Clay 2001). Therefore, satisfaction, meaning that the performance of a product matches a customer’s expectations towards it, is the main aim of marketing (Neal, Quester & Hawkins 2002) as it is fundamental to achieve customer loyalty (Hamilton 1997). However, a satisfied customer is not necessarily a loyal customer (Shrake 1999).
Information for this paper was obtained from several “Consumer Behaviour” books as well as from journal articles which partly provided empirical and research information.
2.0 Brand loyalty
Brand loyalty is the commitment towards a particular brand leading to a repeated purchase of that brand (Solomon 1999). Different types of loyalty typologies exist and there are various purchase patterns according to which customers purchase a particular brand.
2.1. Loyalty typologies
There are different ways of identifying brand loyalty, with the differentiation between behavioural and attitudinal brand loyalty probably being the most popular one. Behavioural brand loyalty means the consistent repurchase of that brand (Widing, Sheth, Pulendran, Mittal & Newman 2003). For this group of loyal customers, the attitude to the brand does not make itself felt until the customer experiences an interruption of that routine. For example, if the brand is not available for any reason (East 1997). Attitudinal brand loyalty on the other hand refers to a customer whose attitude to the brand is better than his attitude to products of a different brand (Widing et al. 2003). Buttle and Burton (2002) compare customer loyalty to friendship: A customer builds up loyalty to a brand if he had experiences with it that have been important for him. In the same way, friendship is developed through shared experiences.
In this context, it is possible to distinguish a customer with true loyalty, latent loyalty, spurious loyalty or no loyalty. The loyal customer feels a strong attitude towards the brand with his behaviour reflecting this attitude at the same time. Latent loyalty exists when a customer is strongly attracted by the brand but his behaviour is weak (Widing et al. 2003). For example he or she likes the brand but does not purchase it because of lack of need or opportunity (East 1997). Customers continuing to purchase a brand because it is the only available at the store come under the category of spurious customers (Schiffman et al. 2001).
Knox (1998, cited by Buttle and Burton 2002) mentions a different way to differentiate customer types: the loyal customer, the habitual customer, the variety seeker and the switcher. The habitual customer purchases a product because he or she is used to it. Variety seekers` purchases depend on personal circumstances and switchers feel no attachment to a specific brand (Knox 1998, cited by Buttle and Burton 2002).
According to Schiffman et al. (2001), some theorists stated that there is a correlation between loyalty and the degree of a customer’s involvement. Concerning high-involvement purchase which is connected to detailed information research, Lawson et al. (1996) point out that a satisfied customer is more likely to take a short-cut next time while repurchasing the same brand. Low-involvement in contrast is related to routine purchases and can be easily destroyed (Schiffman et al. 2001).