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Brand Loyalty

How To Shift Brand Loyalty

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How To Shift Brand Loyalty

Want to raid a few brand loyalists from the competition? Here’s how. Focus on the similarities between your product and theirs. If you want to keep your fans loyal, focus on how you are different.

Research in the Journal of Consumer Research explores the differences between consumers who have strong brand loyalty and those that show very little commitment. It finds that loyalists focus on differences between their preferred product and its competition whereas the non-commital focus on the similarities. The study also finds that it’s possible to disrupt someone’s typical way of processing information about products. By asking brand loyalists to focus on the similarities between “their” brand and another and asking the non-brand loyal to focus on the differences, the researchers were able to influence the perceptions of both groups.

Interesting to think about Private Label strategy in light of these findings. The me-too approach of many Private Label brands is very much in line with the idea of emphasizing similarity. By making their product as similar to the better-known brands as possible, they aim to eat away at those brands’ loyal user commitment. However, more recent initiatives appear to be going in the other direction. Perhaps reflecting that the Private Label brands now have a critical mass of their own loyalists?

Meanwhile, this story in Ad Age focuses on how Private Label is winning the battle of the brands. One of the points it makes is that national brands are helping the cause of Private Label brands by focusing on price discounting. In essence, they are helping make the Private Label brands case that they are similar.

How are you creating brand loyalty? How easy can that bond be broken?

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