Quality Drives Brand Loyalty, but Sense of Community Also Matters

January 28, 2022

Shoppers are willing to switch brands due to factors like lack of availability, poor product performance, and poor environmental records or treatment of employees. But, what inspires customer loyalty? Here’s a look at what a report [download page] from Clarus Commerce has to say.

Even during the pandemic, consumers are still showing signs of loyalty towards their favorite brands. In the past year, many of the 2,500 US consumers surveyed say they have purchased their favorite brand’s product regularly and told their friends about their favorite brand. When asked what best describes why they are loyal to their favorite brand, the largest share (27%) of respondents said it’s because that brand has a higher quality product. This is backed by other research from the Integer Group which shows that shoppers prioritize finding the best quality items over anything else

That same research also puts spending as little money as possible for an item as the #2 shopping priority. And, while better prices (17%) is one factor that drives loyalty to a favorite brand, more consumers say that a strong sense of community (22% share) is why they are loyal to a brand. This sentiment is especially strong among Millennials. Separately, the study indicates that the most important activities for fostering a sense of community (for those for whom this is important) are joining online groups and attending in-person events.

Meanwhile, Gen Z also give their loyalty to brands that do good. About 3 in 10 (28% of) Gen Z consumers surveyed base their loyalty to their favorite brand on it doing good in the world or having a positive social impact. 

Despite the desire for brands to have a sense of community and make a positive social impact, fewer consumers are keen to take action against a brand they are loyal to such as boycotting the brand, destroying or throwing something away from the brand, or posting something negative about the brand on social media. Indeed, a majority of respondents agree that people are too quick to criticize, cancel or speak out against a brand on social media and that brands can be unfairly targeted for political reasons. 

In general, respondents report interacting with their favorite brands. About one-quarter say they look for news about the brand online weekly (23%) and search for community events from the brand in their area daily (23%). Consumers are also willing to share certain pieces of information with their favorite brands. In exchange for a better customer experience or discount, a fair share of respondents are willing to provide their email address (73%), name (65%) and birthday (56%), though fewer will give out their phone number (38%) or demographic data (34%).

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a September 2021 survey of 2,500 US consumers.

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