Determination of Brand Loyalty Factors Age Group-18-24

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This paper reports the results of a study of factors determining brand loyalty within the 1824 age groups. This paper reports the results of a study of brand selection and loyalty within in 150 members of the 18--24 age groups. The study explores brand loyalty behavior across different product categories, and investigates the dimensions that drive loyalty behavior within this age group. First, the construct of brand loyalty is defined, followed by an overview of key research in the area. Finally, the study itself is detailed. The study concludes that there is a significant difference in the degree of brand loyalty exhibited by the 18--24-year-old respondents across product categories. The dimensions of brand selection also vary by product type.

Brand Loyalty in terms of quality, novelty and reputation influence was evident in coffee and toothpaste purchase, with brand as a reflection of self-image being something that is important to mobile handset brands.

INTRODUCTION

The topic of Brand Loyalty holds great interest for market researchers, marketing managers and marketing academics. Brand Loyalty is a key issue for many marketing managers, and companies spend millions each year tracking brand loyalty levels through market research organizations. This interest in brand loyalty is also reflected in the academic literature, where loyalty has also been referred to a commitment and retention. Loyalty is an important concept in strategic marketing.

A base of loyal customers allows marketers to charge a premium price and to reduce the cost of doing business through decreasing acquisition and promotion costs, thus increasing shareholders value and hence profitability (Bennett & Rundle-Thiele, 2005). It has been suggested that it takes a lot less money to increase the retention if current customers than to find new ones (Wood, 2001). Fred Reichheld, formerly with Bain Consulting, defined loyalty in the Harvard Business review, as "the willingness of someone--a customer, an employee, a friend--to make an investment or a personal sacrifice in order to strengthen relationship". Loyalty, therefore, is a big deal--taking lots of thought, planning and consideration on the part of the marketers.

From a firm's perspective, a successful brand enables it to maintain a high level of consumer acceptance, often in the face of considerable competition. In addition, brand loyalty can:

* Provide a solid foundation for new product launch and for licensing

* Offset a decline in market share during price and promotional wars

* Help provide resistance to competitive attacks (Kamakura & Russell, 1991)

Aaker, 1991) wrote, "The brand loyalty of the customer base is often the core of a brand's equity. If customers are indifferent to the brand and, in fact, buy with respect to features, price, there is likely little equity

From the customer's perspective, a brand provides a visible representation of difference between products. Brands allow consumers to shop with confidence in an increasingly complex world. A brand can signify product quality as well as aid consumers in differentiating the product from competitive offerings.

A brand that consumers trust will also serve to reduce perceived risk and post-purchase cognitive dissonance.Modeling of price elasticity effects also demonstrate the importance of loyalty (Guadagni & Little, 1983; Starr & Rubinson, 1978). More loyal consumers, as measured by probability of purchase or "share of requirements" from past purchase panel data, are less likely to switch due to a given price inducement; as a corollary a loyal buyer usually needs a bigger discount to switch than would a less loyal buyer (Baldinger & Rubinson, 1996)

Marketers must understand what brand loyalty is, bearing in mind that brand loyalty will be different for each brand managed. Research suggests that customers can demonstrate loyalty by purchasing, by being willing to recommend, and by providing advice to the company, and finally, customers could demonstrate brand loyalty through an intention to repurchase. …