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What Makes Consumers Loyal to Brands?

Well, it really depends on the consumer

When a consumer finds a product they like—the perfect shade of red lipstick or a pair of shoes they can wear all day without a fuss—they tend to become repeat customers. 

But a recent August 2018 survey from Morning Consult, which polled 2,202 US internet users, found that some consumers—particularly Gen Z and millennials—are not always ready to commit to just one product. More than half (51%) of 18- to 21-year-olds said they would like to try out different items, "even when I know there's one I like."  

Older respondents were less likely to be as adventurous. Roughly two-thirds (67%) of Gen Xers and more than three-quarters (75%) of boomers said that when they find a product they like, they to to buy it over and over again. 

It's important to note, however, that brand loyalty isn't so black and white. Just because a consumer says they're brand loyal one day doesn't mean they will be the next day. Factors like quality, ethics and price can affect why many shoppers no longer purchase from a brand they were once loyal to, found Morning Consult. 

Indeed, boomers—essentially those respondents the survey found to be most brand loyal—said they stopped buying from a particular brand because the quality of products or services went down (24%), prices went up (17%) and some had customer service issues (14%). Meanwhile, younger respondents like millennials were more likely to stop buying from a brand because of these very issues: quality (32%), price (19%) and customer service issues (19%). 

Interestingly, a study from Forrester Consulting conducted last year, found these are the very factors that are incremental in driving brand loyalty. Nearly six in 10 digital shoppers worldwide said the quality and variety of items offered leads them to make repeat purchases, while another 26% said it was superior customer service.