Just as the name suggests, brand loyalty is the preference a customer develops for a particular brand of product, above other brands in the same or similar category. The importance of brand loyalty in marketing pertains to the ability of a company to encourage and sustain the loyalty of consumers to its brand of products through effective marketing. Brand loyalty in marketing is a process that requires careful study of consumer trends by a company or manufacturer with a view to apply the knowledge gained to the sale of its products.
Studying some of the buying habits of the consumer will show if he or she is loyal to a brand. An example is if the consumer would rather buy a particular brand of product out of a variety of choices from the same category of products. For instance, a consumer would rather buy ABC glass cleaner out of a pool of about 30 other similar products. Another sign is if the consumer is willing to pay a little extra or put in a little more effort in order to get the desired brand. If a store does not have ABC glass cleaner and the consumer is willing to go to another store to look for the brand, then that shows the consumer is loyal to that brand of glass cleaner.
A company can use marketing tools like advertising, promotions and other types of strategy to encourage consumers to develop loyalty to its brand of product. While advertising the product, the company will emphasize its good qualities and why it has an edge over similar competing products. Effective marketing also includes the use of promotional tools, such as rewards for using the product, discounts, coupons and the buy-one-get-one-free strategy.
The effect of brand loyalty in marketing with regards to a company includes increased sales, consistent sales through the development of a reliable consumer base, and an overall growth of the company. Even though developing brand loyalty is important, it can be difficult to sustain due to a variety of reasons. Consumer trends change arbitrarily, and the company must adapt to the changes in trends in order to satisfy, retain and even add more consumers to its loyalty base. In a competitive market, companies also have to deal with the competition trying to grow their loyal consumer base. Just the same, other companies that sell similar products will explore the effect of brand loyalty in marketing in order to increase their profits and outsell the competition.