Brand loyalty: consumer motivations revealed

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on October 11, 2002

When shopping at the supermarket, consumers' brand loyalty to pet products far exceeds that seen for baby and toddler products, according to a survey conducted by InsightExpress, examining in-store awareness techniques and consumer motivations...

The survey of 500 American grocery shoppers revealed that consumers report little brand loyalty when shopping for themselves or their children at the supermarket. Brand loyalty to baby food and baby items was rated at only 27%. However, more than half of consumers purchasing pet food (53%) said they are more likely to stick with one brand. The three types of product to which people are most loyal are pet foods, soft drinks, and condiments.

Product category % loyal shoppers
Pet food 53%
Soft drinks/juices 41%
Condiments 33%
Baby items & food 27%
Pasta sauce 26%
Cereal & breakfast foods 24%
Ice-cream/novelties 19%
Cheese & dairy 19%
Household cleaners 19%
Snacks (cookies, chips & crackers) 19%
Frozen dinners/pizza 18%
Milk and eggs 17%
Pasta and rice 16%
Meats/poultry 15%
Canned goods 14%
Baking products 14%

When asked about the most compelling reasons for switching brands, nearly four in five consumers cited price (78%). Other reasons included product quality (66%), an available promotional offer or coupon (40%), and availability of other products or brands (33%).

"In an attempt to affect loyalty and drive purchase behaviour, stores and manufacturers have been using an ever-increasing array of tactics - not all of which are effective," said Lee Smith, president of InsightExpress. "Traditional, tangible methods should be the methods of choice."

Awareness drivers
The survey's participants indicated that weekly store flyers produced the highest level of awareness, translating into the greatest level of sales, followed by in-aisle coupon dispensers and individuals offering free samples.

The following table shows the methods of driving awareness, along with the percentage of consumers who notice each method, and the percentage of consumers whose purchasing is influenced by them:

Product category % aware % influenced
Weekly store flyers 84% 83%
In-aisle coupon dispensers 79% 46%
Person offering free samples 74% 49%
Store window adverts 49% 48%
Store announcements 37% 37%
Above-aisle product banners 35% 30%
Shopping cart adverts 35% 11%
On-shelf flashing lights 30% 24%
Product trial packages 29% 66%
On-floor product adverts 19% 17%

The survey also revealed that while 86% use a shopping list, only 28% adhere strictly to the list they created at home, and are uninfluenced by in-store promotional activities.

"Marketers must recognise the tremendous power and influence they have when consumers are walking the aisles of their favourite supermarket. With shoppers spending an average of 47 minutes in the store, there are enormous opportunities to induce trial," explained Smith. "Understanding what drives decisions in the stores helps consumer packaged good manufacturers compete, increase revenue, and gain market share."

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