Brand Loyalty And The Factors Affecting It

1954 words - 8 pages

The core element in the marketing mix is the company's product because it provides the functional requirements sought by customers. Marketing managers develop theirproducts into brands which help to create a unique position in the minds of customers.Brand superiority leads to high sales, the ability to charge price premiums and the power to resist distributor power. The management of products and brands is regardeda key factor in marketing success.BRANDING:Before discussing the concept of brand loyalty it is important to explain the term "brand". According toAaker (1991a:7) defines a brand as:A distinguishing name and/or a symbol (such as a logo, trademark or package design) intended to identify the goods or services of either one seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate those goods or services from those of competitors. Thus, a brand identifies the seller or manufacturer of a product which can be consistent in providing a specific set of features, benefits and services to the buyer.Branding is defined as a process by which companies distinguish their product offerings from the competition. Some brands are supported by logos, for example theprancing hose of Ferrari. By developing an individual identity, branding permits customers to develop associations with the brand (e.g. prestige, economy) and helps in purchasing decision (Chernatony, 1991). Branding carries an influence on consumers' perceptions since it is well known that consumers fail to distinguish between brands in each product category in blind product testing.As brand loyalty is a basic part of consumer model behaviour, our area of interest is to explore the nature of brand loyalty and the possible factors determining it.BRAND LOYALTY:The importance of brand loyalty has been recognized in marketing literature for the last three decades. It apply to those customers who follows a programmed purchasedecision rather than leaping from problem recognition to actual purchase. As (Runyon 1980, p.355) puts it,"Brand loyalty is a special case of programmed decision making when customers adopt a decision strategy of giving all or most of their patronage to a particular brand."R.L. Oliver (1999, p.34) defines brand loyalty as "a deeply held commitment to re-buy or re-patronised a preferred product/ service consistently in the future, thereby causing repetitive same brand set purchasing, despite situational influences and marketing efforts having the potential to cause switching behaviour."Oliver's definition of brand loyalty emphasises the two different aspects of brand loyalty-the behavioural and the attitudinal concept. (Chaudhuri & Holbrook 2001, p.282). In behavioural terms we can say that brand loyalty is the consistent repurchase overtime by consumers and the consumers build relationship with the brand over a period of time. Although it gives us an insight as to what they are doing, it doesn't explain why they are doing it.Several authors have defined brand loyalty by the...

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