The Deception of Brand Loyalty

LOYALTY. LOYALTY. LOYALTY. I am sure brand names came to mind as you hear Rihanna in the song Loyalty. Aside from her and Kendrick Lamar’s collaboration, in all seriousness, consumers consistently purchase only select brands that they are familiar with. I am sure all of you can relate. We have our go-tos, whatever they may be. Apple, Nike, Dove, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Starbucks, just to name a few.


Once we start buying products from these brands, we typically ca not stop. We develop a sense of trust in these brands and we believe that they have to be the best option for us, despite our odds. Not paying attention to convenience or price, we make purchases of our preferred brand names.


Companies use various marketing techniques such as loyalty or rewards programs, trials and incentives (samples and free gifts) to create the perfect loyal customer.


The most effective strategy, however, is maintaining meaningful engagement with their customers. By addressing emotional values that are important to customers, they engage with the brand more and the company gains higher numbers of repeat customers.


In a Super Bowl ad a couple years ago, the Always campaign “Like a Girl” among others spearheaded a world of positive body image advertisements. These commercials reclaimed the phrase “like a girl.” Instead of viewing it as an insult, how many men and women see it, they focused and emphasized the untainted way younger girls viewed it as a compliment.  

Another set of ads that resonate with consumers is the Nike #BetterForIt campaign, ads that say what every woman thinks when she exercises: “Oh good, a bunch of models right in front of me,” and, “I better get an ab out of this” This ad connected with its viewers because it exposed the relatable insecurities we share and gave encouragement to push through the head noise at the same time. Big corporations are doing themselves a favor when they use their advertisements to promote not only their brand but also positive, emotional messages.


Not only is the connection from brand to consumer vital, but so is consumer trends. If the product is not up to their standards, they might move on to the next. Without regard to trends in marketing, customers will be left unhappy and that brand will no longer get as much recognition or sales.


Customers’ needs and expectations must be met in order for them to continue purchasing that brand. Sears and Kodak, for example. Since consumers needs were not met, their corporations have fallen behind.


Now that online shopping has blown up, consumer trends are largely shaped by the internet. This challenges brands to make their product appealing and effective all all spectrums because consumers can easily access information via internet to educate themselves. Some people switch brands just to try it out or experience new features. A smart strategy for some consumers is to try products from different brands before declaring their loyalty to just one. This means that even though brand loyalty is still extremely relevant, we might not be as loyal to certain brands as we used to be.


I often find myself being super indecisive in the grocery store or just in general when it comes to picking out the brand I want. This is most definitely due to brand loyalty and my familiarity with my go-to brands.


Hopefully this article pushed you to think about your own brand loyalty and contemplate what you might be familiar with. I encourage you all to find your own favorite brands of course but also to do your research on what products REALLY might be the best fit for you. 


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