Consumer Brand Loyalty is at an All-Time High

Almost all Americans say they are loyal to their favorite brands, bringing consumer brand loyalty to a new all-time high in 2021, a new survey revealed.
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Almost all Americans say they are loyal to their favorite brands, bringing consumer brand loyalty to a new all-time high in 2021, a new survey revealed.

The survey, which queried roughly 1,000 consumers and was conducted by online deals platform, found that 97% of consumers were loyal to at least one brand. That’s up from 90% of consumers who said the same in 2019.

Food and beverage were the top category for brand loyalty, with 62% of respondents indicating allegiance to a specific brand. Part of that stronghold may relate to the success of loyalty programs rolled out by food and beverage companies over the past several years.

“For business owners looking to hold on to customers in fiercely competitive marketplaces, loyalty programs may be an effective strategy to keep clients interested, engaged, and eventually loyal toward a company’s products or services,” the survey reads. “Many food and beverage companies have effectively rolled out these kinds of programs, and sellers across all verticals could benefit from the continued rise in consumer loyalty by implementing other types of loyalty-generating programs, such as subscription services.”

Consumers were most loyal to fashion brands next, with 57% sticking to specific fashion or apparel brands. Personal electronics also fared well, with 44% of consumers loyal to a specific brand. However, categories such as home and garden and home improvement brands proved to hold less loyalty among consumers, with fewer than 30% indicating loyalty.

Covid-19 Impacts

While more consumers feel loyal to certain brands, there are significant issues that have led consumers away from certain brands, including many related to the Covid-19 pandemic. As more shoppers turned to digital solutions to place orders for delivery or pickup, brands without online storefronts likely lost some previously loyal consumers.

Many consumers opted not to shop with certain brands if there was no online storefront (31%) or if the online experience was poor (27%).

“Clearly, online shopping is trending upward, and more stores are introducing online shopping platforms,” the survey notes. “Those that aren’t investing in online platforms risk losing loyal customers to other more accessible businesses.”

Consumers were most likely to stop shopping at their favorite stores in home and garden, home improvement and sporting goods categories due to a combination of store closures, a lack of online shopping or a subpar online user experience. Nearly half (46%) of consumers who stopped shopping at a favorite store within the last year said it was because the store closed, reflecting the deep impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the retail industry in 2020.

The survey findings should indicate to retailers and brands that having an optimal online experience is critical to keep brand loyalty among consumers.

“Clearly, the pandemic has shaken up consumer loyalties,” the survey reports. “The closing of stores plays a massive part in it --if consumers don’t have access to their products, they can’t be loyal to them anymore. Even if online shopping is an option for that particular item or brand, many are disinterested due to poor user experiences.”