Blog 6 min read

What is retail brand loyalty?

There’s a lot of loyalty talk in retail, right? And brand loyalty is no exception. But what is loyalty when it comes to a brand? And what is the difference between customer loyalty and brand loyalty? We’ll get into it all, promise. Just keep reading. 

Definition of brand loyalty in retail

The definition of brand loyalty is a customer who is very emotionally attached to your brand. The customer will always put you and your products first and is connected to how your brand makes them feel. A customer who is loyal to a brand will never choose a competitor over you, despite lower prices or more convenient locations. Your brand values and the ability to show them play a huge role in reaching brand loyalty.

Why is brand loyalty important?

It pretty much speaks for itself. Customers who are loyal to your brand works as your ultimate marketing channel. They will speak highly of your brand to friends and family, and the bond they feel towards you is hard to break. This will not only allow you to sell more – it will also help you build your customer base. Basically, brand loyalty gives you a competitive advantage.

Read more: Retail loyalty program – a comprehensive example and concrete tips

Different types of brand and customer loyalty

There are different types of loyalty in retail, and here is an example of two: emotional loyalty and functional loyalty.

Emotional loyalty

This is the one where brand loyalty fits in best. It’s an emotional connection the customers feel towards your brand that is hard to break. This is the strongest form of loyalty, and a customer will continue to choose you and your products even if it, for example, means driving longer to get to your store, waiting for a product to get delivered home, or if the price is higher than other competitors. The customer agrees with your values, how you run your business and the quality of your products. And many times: they want to be seen with products from your brand because they want to be associated with your brand to build a certain status.

Functional loyalty

When it comes to functional loyalty, also called transactional loyalty – it’s about the most convenient choice for the customer. It means choosing the shop that’s closest to home or that is on its way to or from work. Or a customer choosing to shop online from a brand because it always has the lowest prices. Functional loyalty is not as strong as emotional loyalty, because if a shop opens up even closer to home, or another brand lowers its prices, the customer can easily leave your brand. But, with that said, it’s also an important form of loyalty! Because it still means you have customers that keep coming back to buy from you – even though it’s “only” because you are the most convenient choice.

Read more: Build customer loyalty – best strategies you may not have heard before

Brand loyalty is created when you can deliver a brand promise and experience that is consistent. You need to connect with your customers on a deeper level – beyond purchases. It’s not an easy task to bring on, that’s for sure.

Here are some examples of things you need to do to reach brand loyalty:

  • Put your mission out there loud and clear ­– for people to be able to connect with you on an emotional level, you need to show them what you stand for. Talk about your core values on social media, on your website, in-store, and in your communication with customers.
  • Engage with your customers This doesn’t just refer to communicating with them, it also means involving Why not create a community where your customers can talk to each other? And involve them in upcoming product designs by having customers vote for different options!

  • Be consistent – Successful brands don’t change their ways from left to right. They choose a core business that is consistent over time, and they make sure to deliver the same high quality. That doesn’t mean the brand won’t develop new products or be in the forefront – they usually are! It means there’s consistency in what they deliver and value.
  • Excellent customer service – The customer service experience you give your customers is crucial. It’s super important to work with the customer experience through the entire journey, but especially when the customer has a concern. Your customer service and the experience the customers get can make or break your business. 

Read more: How to improve the customer experience and the importance of it

  • Be honest – No one is perfect, and everyone can make mistakes. As long as you are honest and own everything you do, that’s all anyone can ask from you. Apologize if a customer is upset and show that you care about what they think of you.

Difference between customer loyalty and brand loyalty

These two are obviously closely related because if you have brand loyalty, you are often considered a loyal customer of that brand. But there are a few differences between these two:

Customer loyalty

 When a customer is considered loyal, it’s often measured by how often they make a purchase, how much they spend, and how active and engaged they are with your brand. A loyal customer positively talks about you and recommends you to friends and family.


Brand loyalty

Has nothing whatsoever to do with money or spending. It has everything to do with how the customers see your brand. A customer can have made one or two purchases from you, and still, be very loyal to your brand. They are completely in love with the experience they get from the brand, and the way they feel when they are using or wearing a product from you.

Maintaining brand loyalty

Brand loyalty is pretty easy to maintain – easier than keeping and managing customer loyalty. That’s because when a customer has reached brand loyalty they’re already convinced and super invested in what you do. So, you don’t have to keep reminding them of why you are the best choice all the time – they already know. But with that said, you can never take your customers for granted! Let them know you appreciate them – like in any relationship! And if you want the right tools to show that appreciation – that’s us! Because Voyado makes brands easy to love.



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