What Is Brand Loyalty

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ost luxury marketers will answer this question the same way: "We want it all - brand lust and brand loyalty." But brand lust and brand loyalty are two entirely different things and marketers need to understand the differences.

Brand lust is a feeling or a desire to own a specific brand. As such it is not easily measured or quantified. On the other hand, brand loyalty is an action, a commitment made to the brand that transforms a potential target into a consumer. Loyalty is measurable and quantifiable. Because the end result of lust and loyalty strategies are different, luxury marketers must develop branding strategies that target those differences.

For example, strategies to build brand lust extend across a broad spectrum of consumers, recognizing
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On the other hand, a consumer has to be a 'player' to be the target of a loyalty program. Dreamers and aspirers need not apply. Brand loyalty is only relevant when talking about customers, people who have bought the brand and who are likely to buy the brand in the future.

So it makes sense for luxury marketers whose goal is to build brand lust to invest in advertising and other marketing communications that target a broad audience, especially a youth-skewing demographic that can be expected to achieve affluence in time. The young affluents, or the young with potential to achieve affluence, as defined by education, profession and marital status, should be the prime target for brand lust-driven advertising.

Unity Marketing's research has found the young affluents, especially the GenXer and Millennial generation consumers, to be far more brand aware and in tune to branding messages than the older generations of affluents, mostly the Baby Boomers. It is this passion to have and to own luxury brands that ultimately propels many consumers to buy, yet the real investment in such lust-driven marketing communications is to maintain the luxury image and allure, not necessarily to drive sales.

Brand Loyalty Programs Must Provide a Measurable
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Rather the loyalty program for luxury marketers must be carefully crafted toward the unique values, desires and ideals of the brand's customers. In-depth consumer insights need to be the foundation for program. It is through an intense understanding of their consumers that marketers will learn what really turns their customers on and what rewards will make a real difference to them. For example, the most effective loyalty programs in the luxury market are not exclusively about earning points or money off. They offer more emotional benefits that make the loyalty member feel really special, like exclusive access to special events that are an experience for the loyal customer. Anybody can give a dollars-off coupon, and many do; but loyalty programs for the luxury market need to give these most highly valued and valuable customers a whole lot
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