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Does Brand Loyalty Still Matter?

Does Brand Loyalty Still Matter? post images
Image courtesy of Laura Chouette

Written By : Liam Webster

Posted 03/09/2022

The long-time rivalry between Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, coined the “Cola Wars”, tells a great tale about customer loyalty.

While PepsiCo won the battle, it eventually lost the war – and this is all thanks to branding. Just based on taste, Pepsi was actually the frontrunner at one point in time – and this was verified by The Pepsi Challenge campaign.

But ultimately, customers chose the red can, with The Wall Street Journal officially declaring Coca-Cola’s victory in 1996. Thanks to the brand’s iconic marketing strategy, soda drinkers remained devoutly loyal.

But looking at the overall declining sales of legacy CPG brands today, we could be made to believe that brand loyalty is, in fact, dead. In today’s connected world of choice, where digital natives will drop you like a hot potato and go cavort with your competitors instead, does loyalty still matter?

A little history…

Loyalty programmes are believed to have started in the later 18th Century when shop owners gave customers copper tokens for future purchases. This evolved to stamps in the 19th Century, and by the 20th Century, customer loyalty schemes were everywhere.

These days, loyalty towards a brand looks very different to just rewards and discounts (AKA bribery). True brand loyalty is about repeatedly choosing a company for the overall experience (without monetary incentives). And as the customer gets increasingly savvy and wises up to marketing tactics, what drives their loyalty will continue to change.

Why loyalty is harder today

There’s a plethora of choice for customers – not only are there more products and brands to try, but the accessibility of the internet means everyone has access to information. Shopping online makes it easy to compare prices and browse multiple sites and marketplaces in a matter of minutes.

This hyper-convenient way of making smart, informed buying decisions means customers don’t need to be loyal. If something doesn’t float their boat, they can simply go elsewhere.

Today’s digital native shopper is also more demanding. They don’t just want a great product at a great price. They want exemplary service, omni-channel retailing, and they want the entire journey to be tailored to their exact needs.

Brand loyalty is not dead

It could be too easy to conclude that the concept of brand loyalty is just the quaint behaviour of previous generations. But loyal customers still exist – they’re just a hell of a lot harder to reach!

So rather than dying a slow death, we like to think of customer loyalty as something that’s just different to how it was before. We can no longer rely on lazy reward schemes to get people to shop. We need to do more to make them feel valued.

This all starts with creating an outstanding customer experience, from awareness all the way to post-purchase. Some of our tips for nurturing loyal customers in your funnel include:

  1. Design a beautiful and functional website to improve the customer journey
  2. Create amazing content that engages your customers at every touchpoint
  3. Make sure your brand is consistent across every channel
  4. Provide an omni-channel experience and interact with customers on different platforms
  5. Look beyond sales and build meaningful relationships with your audience
Are you looking for a digital marketing agency that can help you with your marketing strategy?

At Identify Digital, we have years of experience delivering a range of digital marketing services to businesses in the Yorkshire area. As a leading digital marketing company, we combine a range of skills to help your online business flourish. To talk to a digital marketing agency that cares about creating the ultimate experience for your customers, call 01924 911333 or fill in our online enquiry form.

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