A recent NPR study by Oscar Yuan of Millward Brown Optimor estimates that the value of their brand is about $400 million. The study took into account NPR’s audience size, budget and other variables before deciding the number. The story explained how brands use their name (and all the customer loyalty and esteem it holds) to make them more money.

Check out this infographic on brand loyalty:

what-makes-you-loyal-to-a-brand

A formula for discovering and delivering on key influencing factors of brand loyalty might be determined by breaking down the target audience into four types of loyalty groups. Looking at things through the lens of these categories could help reveal specifics that make a difference.

  1. The hard-core loyalists
  2. The split loyalists
  3. The shifting loyalists
  4. The switchers

Consumers switch regularly between brands, often because they simply want a change. Investments aimed at reducing this brand migration are therefore very important, and are a small price to pay for the long term profits which brand leaders enjoy. (Source: P. Kotler, ‘Marketing Management ‘ (Prentice-Hall, 7th edn, 1991). 

The payoff can be big.  Recent research found evidence that longer-term customers are less sensitive to price increases. (Source: Dawes, J. “The Effect of Service Price Increases on Customer Retention: The Moderating Role of Customer Tenure and Relationship Breadth”. Journal of Service Research, Vol 11, 2009.)

Is the future of loyalty social?

Does a “like” or “follow” really indicate brand loyalty? Loyal customers may evolve over time from positive online brand experiences —as studies have discovered, the majority of consumers who engage with a brand in the digital space (whether by participating in a contest by “liking” a brand on Facebook) tend to not only purchase the products, but also make recommendations to their friends and family. The Atlantic put together an infographic to show what makes people want to follow a brand (this is just a piece of it):

1-infographic-follow-brands-large

Efforts to engage and build customer brand loyalty could immediate pay off

In the case of startup Kabbage, online merchants benefit from customer loyalty expressed on social media. Kabbage is attempting to provide new forms of lending by using new online financial and social media data—advancing cash to eBay sellers based on their user feedback and their performance in online games. Kabbage has experimented with other non-traditional data such as a merchant’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, and it found that customers who link to their social media information are 20% less likely to be delinquent than those who don’t. “They’re more engaged and on top of their business, and their accounting, ordering, shipping,” Gorlin said. “If they’re paying attention to that, odds are they’re paying attention to everything else too.”—Bloomberg Businessweek

Conclusion

At the advertising agency, we create branding materials that: define who a company is to their customers, differentiate the company from competitors and communicate the unique value the company provides. The brand loyalty factor remains as a mix of marketing engagement, effectiveness of brand communications and consumer trends. The loyalty effect can be determined by monitoring the target audiences over time—what is the brand image they perceive and what does the public do to show loyalty?  In a MASB survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, 69 percent responded that they found the “loyalty” metric very useful.

 

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