As marketers, we all know, the concept of brand loyalty is actually a measure of customer attachment to a brand. The size is capable of providing an idea of whether or not a customer may switch or change to another brand, either in relation to the price or other attributes. According to Henry Assael, brand loyalty is the result of repeated decisions and a strong commitment to a brand.
A customer who is loyal to a brand will not easily change their purchases to other brands, no matter what happens with that brand. And, if the loyalty increases, then the customer vulnerability to attacks or threats by other brands do not have to worry about.
Why is that? Loyal customers are generally difficult to be affected even though faced with many alternative brands. But, not a few customers who finally turned to another brand. Therefore, these alternative brands usually offer a different product characteristics from various angles attributes, such as price, product size, convenience of use, and so forth.
Benefits of Loyalty
Thus, the high customer loyalty is very important for a brand. There are several benefits from the brand loyalty.
First, the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing programs. That is, marketers do not need to pay more for ads because the brand is already marketed in the hearts of consumers. Philips, for example, a little advertising but became king in the category of electric light.
Second, high brand loyalty creates high brand power, so can reduce the bargaining power of intermediaries. The intermediary will be in a lower bargaining position when compared with the manufacturers so they tend to follow and not adventurous. Whether intermediaries or retailers might dare to refuse Nokia which has selling well?
Third, able to attract new customers. Enables loyal customers to influence other consumers to buy their brand choice. They can be an ambassador of the brand through word of mouth, member get member, and others.
Fourth, the brand which have a high level of customer loyalty is also has a high Zone of Tolerance (ZoT). This means, the customer will tolerance to any changes that occur, such as price increases. How many customers will leave Mercedes Benz when the price is raised $500?. Certainly much less than other lower brand. So the consumer to the brand Mercedes Benz has higher ZoT than others, says Honda or Toyota.
However, measurement of customer loyalty toward a brand must also be carried out continuously. For that, a lot of ways that can be taken.
First, measure customer behavior regarding the level of repeat purchase, the percentage of the purchase, and the number of brands purchased in a single product category.
Second, it can be done by calculating the switching cost. In it, including how many customers will make the shift purchases, where they move, why they moved, and so forth. Questions like that should get the answer.
Third, the measurement of customer commitment. To measure how big the brand's commitment to our customers, one thing needs to study is to know the number of interactions and communication related to brand.
Increasing the Loyalty
After knowing the benefits and steps to measure brand loyalty, then how marketers strategies to maintain and increase loyalty? Many companies are running a frequency marketing program strategies. That is, the company will give a reward if consumers buy in a specific frequency.
For example, if we often use certain airlines with a certain frequency, then at a certain amount we would get free tickets. American Airlines started to implement this since the 1980s and became a pioneer in this strategy. Almost all credit card companies run the same strategy. The publisher offers a number of points redeemable for prizes if the purchase is done by a particular credit card.
Furthermore, membership marketing program could also be a strategy used by marketers. Harley Davidson had a HOG (Harley Owners Group), a group of luxury motorcycle fanatic lover of Harley. This was done by almost all major retailers. Retailers are giving a discount, to their member.
Another loyalty program is to run a relationship marketing. By running this program, we hope that we can develop a process of the customer from the suspect, prospect, first-time, repeat, clients, advocates, and eventually became a partner for our brand.