This question might not be as straightforward as it appears. Customer loyalty is big business – but do the likes of Tesco and Amazon always deserve our devotion?
Which brands are you most loyal to? It isn’t always as straightforward as it first appears.
On paper, I probably look like I’m loyal to Amazon. As a working mum with two small children, Amazon Prime’s next-day deliveries have saved my bacon on many occasions. I also regularly watch Prime video, read Kindle books and use my new Fire tablet.
But I don’t feel at all loyal to Amazon. In fact, when I think about it, I would much rather spend my money elsewhere. Clearly loyalty is not as simple as it first seems.
We recently quizzed shoppers on the retailers, providers and services they felt most loyal to, and the results were eye-opening. Supermarket giant Tesco came out top, followed by Amazon and Nationwide.
But it isn’t as simple as that – Tesco was also named as the brand that other shoppers felt least loyal towards. It seems that the more a customer engages with a brand, the more likely they are to have strong feelings towards it one way or another.
The power of brand loyalty is illustrated by the way customers talk about their relationship with brands – often in similar terms to the way they think about relationships with family and friends.
One Nationwide customer said:
‘I emerged from a divorce with virtually nothing. Nationwide “took me in”, they helped me build everything back up again. They’re straight, honest and reliable… I would never think of switching from them.’
While a Tesco customer said:
‘I feel part of the Tesco family, the products are good, any few complaints we have had are easily dealt with to our advantage.’
Harnessed properly, loyalty can bring huge benefits to both consumers and the brands themselves. But left unchecked, it risks customers being exposed to bad customer service, poor quality and rip-off pricing.
Cost of loyalty
Does loyalty pay? Well, it depends. Many of you will be aware that people who stay with the same energy, telecoms or insurance provider rarely get the best deal. Our research found that customers who stick with these providers risk losing out on hundreds of pounds of savings every year.
Harnessed properly, loyalty can bring benefits to both customers and the brands themselves. But left unchecked, it risks a bad service and rip-off pricing.
So how can you make sure your loyalty works to your advantage? Think carefully when you feel a strong emotional connection to a brand. Take a step back. Do you actually rate it for quality, customer service or (like me with Amazon) convenience?
Are you loyal to a particular retailer or provider? What is that keeps you loyal?