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What’s (brand) love got to do with it? Turns out, a lot.

People choose their favorite brand for many reasons. Some prefer brands for functional reasons, like convenient locations or price, while other customers form more emotional attachments based on personal feelings, like being cared about as a customer or an enjoyable experience.

The research team within the Alliance Data Analytics & Insights Institute wanted to know if there were differences in customer engagement between brand loyalists who love their brand and those who prefer their favorite retailer because they serve basic functional needs. The research shows brands have a lot of reasons to invest in love connections this season:

Customers who love their favorite brand shop more frequently
Those who love their favorite brand shop more frequently, both in store and online.

 

Brand love

Functional

Shop the brand in store once a month or more

63%

58%

Shop the brand online once a month or more

55%

34%

 

Customers who love their favorite brand are more engaged
Customers who love their favorite brand are twice as likely to use the brand’s mobile app (24% vs. 12%). They are also more likely to subscribe to the brand’s emails, follow the brand on social media, and subscribe to text messages.

 

Brand love

Functional

Subscribe to brand emails

42%

29%

Follow the brand on social media

16%

5%

Subscribe to brand text messages

9%

3%

 

Customers who love their favorite brand are more likely to want a fun, personalized experience
Those with brand love are more than twice as likely to want a fun, enjoyable experience. Forty-two percent say that is a reason they shop the brand, compared to only 19% in the functional group. Personalization is also more important to those with brand love:

 

Brand love

Functional

I shop this brand because they offer a personalized experience

19%

7%

I shop this brand because they know me and always recommend items that match my lifestyle/preferences or meet my needs

14%

7%

I shop this brand because they care about me as a person

16%

5%

 

Customers who love their favorite brand are more loyal
Customers with brand love are more likely to value the brand’s rewards program and are more likely to shop because of the store’s credit card.

 

Brand love

Functional

The rewards/loyalty program is a reason I shop the brand

22%

13%

The store credit card is a reason I shop the brand

14%

10%

 

A match made in heaven
All brands have a segment of customers who love them. These customers have higher expectations for the experience and are more highly engaged. Brands should cultivate this group with personalized communications and experiences across all channels, focusing efforts on those that foster deeper emotional connections with the brand.

 

Methodology
Results were collected in an online quantitative survey of 2,515 U.S. adults 18+ that took place between November 9 and November 19, 2018.

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