Industry News

Merchandising: Brand Loyalty

July 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

I was leaving work the other day when I heard a deep, loud rumbling sound – like a jet engine – coming from outside.  I looked down the street towards where the sound was coming from.  Emerging around the corner was a string of Lamborghini’s – slithering up the road like a band of bad ass, 600 plus horsepower-charged soldiers.  My jaw dropped in amazement.  They were headed (I found out later) to check into their hotel for their annual Lamborghini drivers club of America get together. 

In awe of Lamborghini’s legendary power, sleek design and reputation as one of the world’s most expensive luxury sports cars, I decided to drive up to the hotel in my suddenly dowdy and utilitarian Subaru Outback to check it out.

Later it got me thinking about brand loyalty. Owners of these machines wore matching Lamborghini shirts – that clearly identified them as part of the group. Most of the drivers were from faraway places like California and Texas and came to gather for a few days in the Northeast. There was champagne at the hotel and you got the sense that these folks take their cars as well as get together’s pretty seriously – some of them undoubtedly spending north of 500K on a car sounds like brand loyalty to me.

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From a marketing perspective, the website www.Study.com defines brand loyalty as often being based upon perception.  “A consumer will consistently purchase the same product because she perceives it as being the superior product among the choices available. You should note that brand loyalty usually relates to a product, not a company. For example, while you may be loyal to your Honda Accord, when it comes to motorcycles, you might believe that a Harley leaves a Honda motorcycle in the dust.”

In thinking of my own, personal brands I am loyal to – I realized without realizing it how many brands I am truly loyal to. For instance, I am on my fourth Subaru. Recently when shopping around for a new used car, my father suggested I look at a Jeep. Without missing a beat I said “no way,” and stated, “I love my Subaru. I will always drive a Subaru.” Yes, the cars are reliable. But also the Subaru brand defines who I am – that being outdoorsy and always ready for an adventure – no matter what the weather/road conditions.  

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My “Subies” through the ages, as posted on Instagram.

Coke, not Pepsi. Thin crust, not deep dish. Ben and Jerry’s, not Haagen-Dazs. Toothpaste? Whatever is on sale. How do these decisions suddenly become part of our everyday life and decision-making process?  Marketing, yes and personal preference.  Plus what do these brands say about understanding my lifestyle and me? When I started to think about the brands I support, I was pretty surprised how long the list was.

Now would be the part where I get on my soapbox and preach the goodness of vendor POP. I won’t ramble on here, but I will plant the seed that POP and brand loyalty are absolutely not mutually exclusive of each other. I myself search for a familiar logo, image or sign when I am shopping. Make good use of seasonal POP and vendor fixtures. Okay, off soapbox. 

What brands are you loyal to and why? How often do you switch brands? What would it take to switch brands? When Lamborghini comes out with an AWD wagon – I might be a believer.

 

Should you have an interest in sharing your storefront’s merchandising efforts, new or old, tag us on Instagram @siasnowsports with #SIAmerch! We’d love to see what you are up to.

Ali LevySIA’s visual merchandising consultant Ali Levy provides retailers with unique insight on our blog, and we do our best to aggregate the best, most informative articles that will help you with specific merchandising details. For more information about her company, contact Ali directly at [email protected].

 

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