Consumer loyalty pertains to the repeat business generated by returning customers, and to the positive attitudes of these customers towards specific companies and their associated products or services. Consumer loyalty is achieved by providing consistently good products and services, high quality customer service and problem resolution strategies and the offer of rewards and discounts for loyalty.
Consumer loyalty essentially falls into the two categories of attitude and behavior. When combined in varying degrees, these two categories can result in four potential outcomes: loyalty; no loyalty, spurious loyalty and latent loyalty.
Loyal consumers are what every marketer hopes to achieve. They regularly and repeatedly purchase products or services from the same vendors. They recommend and refer the vendors to others and they are immune to the marketing strategies of competitors.
These customers have weak behavioral and attitude habits pertaining to specific vendors. They may base their purchasing decisions on wide-ranging factors, including spur-of-the-moment purchasing, strategic product placement, convenience and on-the-spot discounts.
These customers may have seemingly positive attitudes toward a specific vendor and may sometimes purchase that vendor's products. However, they are just as likely to purchase similar products from competitors. They may seek the gratification of being seen to favor popular and fashionable items that are currently trendy, while at the same time they will be influenced by cost. These factors will influence from whom they purchase.
These customers have a very positive attitude towards a specific vendor, yet they have a weak repeat purchase behavior. These customers are difficult for marketers to influence because there are factors out of the marketer's control that cause this latent loyalty, such as reduced disposable income or unemployment.