What makes customers like a brand? What keeps them coming back and buying repeatedly? And what is it that lies at the heart of the all-important emotional connection customers feel with the brands they rave about?
We did some brand loyalty research to find out.
Our 10 Brand Loyalty Statistics
1. When people feel a brand connection, it’s normally a positive one
Our research shows that people tend to actively like, rather than actively dislike, a brand. An overwhelming 91% of people felt that when they had a connection with a company, it was a positive one.
It stands to reason that if you feel connected positively to a company, you’ll keep doing business with them. If you don’t like them, you’ll walk away and that negative brand connection will fade over time.
Maintaining that positive connection is important and can bring real value to a business. Harvard Business Review’s research shows that these emotionally connected customers can be 50% more valuable on average.
2. Items that are personally-chosen forge stronger connections
We asked people what type of companies they feel connected to. Electronics, fashion and lifestyle brands came out overwhelmingly on top. These purchases are often highly personal, and reflect what people think about ourselves, as well as how they want others to think of them.
Although electronics are perhaps a less obvious personal association, bracketing phones, portable devices etc into this segment shows just how important people feel their iPhones, tablets, laptops etc are to their lives.
3. Customers love companies who show they care
So, how can you get a customer to feel emotionally connected to you? Show them that you care.
It’s actually quite astonishing when you look at the chart below in detail. All of the top 5 reasons customers gave for feeling a connection with a brand are to do with caring. Caring about me, caring about the world, understanding me, being like me, being made to feel special.
If you’re keen to forge a stronger connection with your customers, the answer lies in making sure you demonstrate care and interest at every opportunity.
4. Customers who have a brand connection are fairly rare
The chart above, showing Age and Brand Connection importance shows that overall, customers don’t need a brand connection to buy. Customers will actively buy without an emotional connection, especially in markets or with respect to products they don’t want to feel a connection to.
This means that the brands that are connected to are special to them, and (as per the HBR statistic we looked at in point 1) more likely to enjoy a greater share of wallet.
5. Customers are more likely to feel connected to a brand the older they get
Our research shows that as customers get older, they’re increasingly likely to feel an emotional connection. This could be because they’ve been a consumer for a longer period, and have therefore had time to forge that connection.
At the same time, the longer you’ve been dealing with a company, if they haven’t let you down over your lifetime, you’re very likely to think highly of them and feel connected to that brand.
6. Interest, trust and optimism are the biggest emotional connections
When we asked people which emotions they associated with the brands they were connected to, the overwhelming majority focused on aspects centred around delivery, service and positivity.
Interest, trust, optimism, admiration and acceptance were all high on consumers’ agendas.
7. Customers who are emotionally-connected are less price-sensitive
Our research highlights how customers are willing to pay more to feel better about the purchases they make. Protecting the environment, making a positive difference to the world and feeling safer or more secure were all cited as areas where customers would pay more.
8. Political stances can have a big impact on emotional connection
In the run up to the recent political shocks like Brexit and Trump, many brands aligned themselves with one camp or another. Dyson for example was a strong supporter of Brexit, and a number of high profile businesspeople supported Trump’s campaign. It’s interesting to see that the consumer population really does put a lot of store by these political choices, with over two thirds saying a brand’s political stance has disappointed them, and they’d be prepared to boycott that brand if needed.
It’s interesting that our emotionally-connected brands chime with those Forbes has ranked as the most valuable. Apple and Nike are both in the top 20 of the Forbes’ most valuable brands list this year. However, Nintendo doesn’t feature in their list whilst it has highly valued in ours, followed by Samsung, Amazon, Sony and Coca Cola.
10. 6 out of 10 of the top emotionally-connected brands are in technology
Similar to Forbes, our top 10 list is dominated by technology brands. It’s also interesting that most of these brands are very leisure focused – people rely on their Nike’s to go and have fun or exercise, their Apple or Samsung devices to play games and chat with friends on social media.
Coca Cola to drink. Disney, Patagonia, Toms and Walmart all fit into this category – brands that customers use as a central part of their life.
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