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Nearly half (48 percent) of consumers between the ages 18-44 say the loyalty they feel toward brands stems from the types of experiences those brands create for them, according to a national survey conducted by Analytic Partners, a global marketing consultancy.
Such experiences can include interactions in the form of video/online gaming, social media and third-party expert information through blogs and articles.
"The general conclusion we can make from these findings is that people want to be loved by the brands that love them—loyalty has become a two way street," said Nancy Smith, founder and CEO of Analytic Partners. "No longer are the days when brands can advocate solely for themselves. In fact, the way brands spend their marketing dollars to interact with their consumers can ultimately have a real impact on profitability."
Mass Market Retailers & Shopping Habits
Consumers feel empowered to make purchases when they have the knowledge to make proper decisions. According to the survey, 66 percent of consumers are shopping online using mass market sites like Amazon and Walmart.com, and despite the ease of comparison price shopping, they feel loyal to the brands they buy (63 percent) on these sites. Consequently, the determining factor for this lies within the reviews -- 75 percent feel that the reviews they read online play a major role in the purchases they make.
Both Gender & Location Factor into Loyalty
Gender and location do play a role in brand loyalty. Of those surveyed, female consumers (68 percent) are generally more loyal to brands than males (55 percent). Results also indicate that consumers living in the south are the most loyal to the brands they buy (67 percent), while those living on the west coast are the least loyal (56 percent).
Transparency is Key for Baby Boomers
While fair pricing and excellent customer service are top of mind for most consumers, the baby boomer generation (ages 49-67) care more than any other age demographic that brands should be transparent about how their products are made (80 percent).
"As ecommerce continues to grow in popularity, new methods for consumer interaction are becoming a must for brands that want to strengthen retention and loyalty efforts," Smith continued. "Therefore it's become increasingly important for brands to look at their data holistically to analyze and develop new ways to meet and exceed consumers' expectations."
The survey of 1,000 respondents, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, was designed to reveal the shopping behaviors and expectations of American consumers that interact and purchase from brands regularly.