Brand Loyalty In Business

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Brand loyalty explains the phenomenon in which consumer will continuously purchase one product despite the introduction of other products in the market. Brand loyalty is build around the concept of having the product fulfill the needs of the consumers which means consumers develop loyalty to brands which fulfill their needs compared to those which do not fulfill their needs.  In marketing, brand loyalty can be explained as the extent to which consumers become committed to purchase one product, or otherwise continue purchasing on brand as demonstrated by repeated buying or by other positive behaviors like talking about positive attributes of the brand through the word of mouth. Brand loyalty is more than simply purchasing of the given brand. It is complex psychological processes which make consumers prefer to purchase one brand over another although both are supposed to fulfill similar physical and psychological needs. There are many factors which leads consumers to develop brand loyalty including situational constrains  like vendor lock in, failure to get another alternative, or just due to  conveniences. This is mere spurious loyalty which comes due to the situation at hand. On the other hand, true brand loyalty comes when customers develop a relative attitude towards the brand as exhibited in their purchase and repurchase behavior. True brand loyalty is advantageous to the firm in different ways as customers are ready to do anything to get their brands. Customers develop a psychological affiliation to the brand such that even if they use another brand and produce the same results, they will feel dissatisfied or may perceive results in a negative manner. Customers are even willing to pay higher prices to get their brand and will always bring in new customers through the word of mouth. Brand loyalty is therefore a complex process through which consumers prefer to use a given brand of products over another. They will pay higher prices for that brand even if other brands cost less.  This stems from the way in which customer perceive the brand the first time he or she uses it.  If the brand satisfies consumer needs, both physically and psychologically, they will continue being loyal to the brand and become accustomed to it.

Brand loyalty is complex in the cell phone market. This is because cell phone market is based on technology and with new technologies becoming obsolete in a matter of days it is difficult to understand whether consumers will continue to be loyal to one brand of cell phones. Each and ever year, new brands, which are technologically advanced and with more conveniences are being introduced into the market.  This means that every year, consumers are encountering new cell phones in the market with new features and advanced technology and this may tempt their loyalty to a brand using obsolete technology.  Current research has only been devoted to understanding customer loyalty to cell phone brands but there is little research on whether customers are likely to buy the same brand after encountering a new brand which has great technology features. Considering that consumers are likely to use one brand of cell phone for more than one year, it is important to understand whether customers will buy another brand after they dispose the one they have which could explain brand loyalty. There is also little research on what factors constitute consumer loyalty to cell phone brands like smart phone which has many brands.  In light of his gap in research, this study will use smart phone to understand consumer loyalty to the brand in Australia.

Research problem

Understanding consumer loyalty to cell phone brands is very difficult. Cell phones keep on changing in technology and feature with time. In addition, one brand may be reinvented in different ways, which can be used as one of the ways to keep consumer loyal to the brand. For example, it can be found that cell phone brands like Nokia produce different series and further sub-series in each series to keep consumers. This makes it particularly difficult to measure consumer loyalty. For example Nokia 1202, 1203, 1208, 1209, and 1280 all comes under one brand of Nokia. There is also Nokia 6303 and 6303i. This means that it is difficult to asses whether a customer is loyal to Nokia 12—brand of Nokia 1603— brand. In addition, if the customer is loyal to Nokia 12—brand, it will be difficult to understand whether they are loyal to 1202 or 1203. When a customer switches from Nokia 1202 to 1203 can he or she still be considered to be loyal to the brand? Cell phones are based on evolving technologies and as new technologies emerge, consumers are likely to change to new brands. If consumer  loyalty is based on the extent to which the brand fulfill their needs and aspirations, then consumers will keep on changing to new  cell phone brands which are coming up with new technologies and features. This aspect complicates assessment of consumer loyalty to cell phone brands. Most studies have concentrated on assessing whether consumers are loyal to a given mobile phone brand but there is little evidence which how consumer brands changes with changing  brand in the market. Most cell phone brands do not last in the market for more than five years before their life cycle is over.  The same difficulties come when assessing consumer loyalty to smart phone. A smart phone is described as any phone which offers more advanced technology than a common phone. It is a phone that comes with computing ability and internet connectivity, which may not be available in a common phone. This is a phone that is able to run simple applications like Java ME or BREW. Smart phone have gained increased preference in the market due to their advanced features. However, there is a problem in assessing user's loyalty to smart phones because they come in different brands and new phones with advanced technology are coming to the market on daily bases. There are different brands of smart phones in the market like Nokia E series, Apple iphone, Apple Black Berry, and others.  When assessing consumer loyalty, it will be difficult to assess whether a consumer who changes from Nokia E series to Apple iphone is still loyal to the smart phone or whether the consumer has changed the brand due to preference of the different features of the brand. Understanding consumer loyalty for a brand is important as it assists in marketing endeavors.

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Brand Loyalty In Business

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This article was published on 2011/06/09