NEW YORK: Brands seeking loyalty from consumers need to understand that shoppers want such a characteristic to be reciprocated, a survey has argued.
Analytic Partners, a marketing consultancy, surveyed 1,000 adults about their shopping behaviour and expectations, and found that 48% of those aged 18 to 44 years old thought that any loyalty they felt towards brands in the future would have to stem from the types of experiences brands created for them.
This includes interaction in the form of video, online gaming, social media and third-party expert information provided 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.
Brands can no longer simply act as advocates for themselves, she continued, adding that "the way brands spend their marketing dollars to interact with their consumers can ultimately have a real impact on profitability."
The survey also identified several areas where loyalty was a consideration for consumers or brands.
A 63% of majority shoppers expressed loyalty to the brands they bought on mass market ecommerce sites like Amazon and Walmart.com, for example.
Fully three-quarters also said the reviews they read on such platforms played an important role in the purchases they made.
Female shoppers were more likely to be loyal to brands than men, with 68% of women expressing such sentiments, as did 55% of men.
Geography, too, appeared to be a factor, as 67% of those respondents living in the south of the country tended to be brand loyal, compared to just 56% of those on the west coast.
Transparency was a particular issue for the baby boomer generation, with 80% saying brands should be clear about how their products are made.
Smith noted the continued growth of ecommerce and said that "new methods for consumer interaction are becoming a must for brands that want to strengthen retention and loyalty efforts."
She advocated a holistic look at brand data in order to "develop new ways to meet and exceed consumers' expectations".
Data sourced from Analytic Partners; additional content by Warc staff