Brand Loyalty; possible?

For a consumer to be loyal to a brand, the consumer must connect with it at an emotional level. If the response to a brand is driven purely by rational evaluations, loyalty if exhibited, is spurious. A switch is imminent, and will happen as and when a competing brand scores over the present one, on parameters important to the consumer.

An emotional connection is a result of a higher level of involvement on the part of the consumer with the category in question. The intensity of decision making involved could be as a result of a higher level of cognition employed. Once a brand is chosen post evaluations, ie., purchased, and should it 'connect', loyalty in all probability will follow.

Coming to Soft drinks, in India, there could be a set of consumers who connect with the brands available, at an emotional level. Maybe its the GenXers taking to what Pepsi projects itself as. Pepsi's youthful image may resonate well with the youth, which may then translate into purchases. As long as Pepsi reinforces that image, brand loyalty will be sustained.

But then again, there could another set of consumers, me included, who see 'Youngistaan' as the corniest idea there ever is, therefore are unmoved, therefore are not loyal. Also, don't discount the fact there could still be another set who are loyal to a cluster of brands, not just one, that may even include competing brands.


Emotional component in brand loyalty. Pretty contrary to the science of consumer behaviour, but that is how most of the consumers are. Emotional component is certainly an input in the decision making factor of a brand.

I cant comment on other consumers, in my case, I am not brand concious until I have a reason in buying a particular brand and I dont mind experimenting other ones - depending on their price. I use Nokia phone because I have experienced that the battery backup is much better than the other brands. Hence I would not switch.

However, my footwear would be Bata because my father always bought Bata footwear and I can associate with him when it comes to the brand. Besides, I find Bata to have a good line of footwear, which is obviously the reason for choosing it. But associating the same with my dad is something that bolsters my decision to buy Bata over other brands. Emotional impetus... :-)

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