In the past, companies could rely on brand loyalty and trust that customer churn would be a minor problem. In recent years, the introduction of online shopping and the sudden onset of a global pandemic has changed that situation. Now, businesses are facing uncertain futures in every industry as brand loyalty becomes a thing of the past. Other concerns, such as competitive pricing, are affecting how consumers shop.
How Far Has Brand Loyalty Eroded?
In July of last year, a study found that 45% of people have changed how they shop in terms of choosing products based on the brand names. In a follow-up study that was conducted just 30 days later, it was discovered that 73% of shoppers changed those brand loyalty habits. This indicated a sharper decline than was expected, and that likely had something to do with the enduring pandemic.
Consumer researchers believe these changes were brought about by a greater interest in online shopping as a result of lockdowns. Once people were forced to shop for products via the internet, they found product reviews were helpful in offering alternatives that they thought were better. Additionally, digital advertising exposed consumers to brands that they might not have otherwise considered.
Looking to the Future of Brand Loyalty
It’s difficult to anticipate what the future holds, but analysts expect consumers to stick with the new brands they discovered during the pandemic. In some cases, they like the new brand’s products better, while, in other cases, the consumer made choices based on price and availability. To combat these changes, manufacturers will have to amp up their digital marketing efforts. They will have to work harder to build positive brand images with online consumers and use paid advertising to get their brand names in front of a greater number of consumers.
The changing face of digital marketing is only one factor to consider in devaluing brand loyalty. Social media also plays a major role in influencing the buying action of consumers. For every business, greater effort will have to be made in order to maintain loyalty among their customers. Failing to keep up with buying trends or cultural changes can lead to one business’ customers flocking to a new or different brand.