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Consumer Brand Loyalty

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Consumer brand loyalty

The concept of brand loyalty was first introduced in a 1923 edition of the Harvard Business Review, where Copeland described it as "an extreme attitude towards a product, which might have a special effect on buyer behavior". Copeland's definition described a loyal customer as anyone who buys a brand 100 % of the time. In the real market, there are too few customers who could be described as 100% loyal.

Aaker (1996) loyalty is a combination of purchase behavior, customer switching costs, customer satisfaction and brand liking.

Only on rare occasions may customers patronize products/brands for which they have negative attitudes, which in most cases may be as a result of absence of their regularly used brand. Also an increase in the price of a consumer's choice brand may lead to the purchase of another brand.

Types of Consumer Brand Patronage

Petrova et al(2010) made a cross classification of relative attitude with repeat patronage to get 4 different types of loyalty.

No Loyalty - Low Relative attitude combined with low repeat purchase result in the absence of loyalty. This case is indicative for the lack of strong communication of the product, or the existence of newly introduced product. The market might also be very fragmented.

Spurious Loyalty - Low relative attitude combined with high repeat patronage causes spurious loyalty. It is similar to the notion of inertia in that there is low involvement of the customers and consumers perceive little differentiation between different brands.

Repeat purchase is induced by situational cues (familiarity, social factors).

Latent Loyalty - High Relative Attitude combined with low repeat patronage is defined as latent loyalty. This type of loyalty is due to market environment where situational factors are more influential than attitudinal ones. In this case managerial efforts should be directed to leveraging situational cues and subjective norms.

Loyalty - High relative attitude combined with high repeat patronage produces the most favourable case, often referred to as true loyalty.



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