Brand Loyalty: Best Examples and Why It Matters

February 15, 2024
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Are you all about the thrill of speeding in a BMW, or is the plush comfort and reliability of a Lexus more your style? When it’s time to workout, do you lace up Nike sneakers, or are you on team Adidas with those iconic three stripes? Whether it’s cruising the streets or crushing your fitness goals, everyone has their favorite brand to cheer for. These preferences often go beyond mere product features. They connect deeply with our personal stories and values, becoming a part of who we are. As we navigate through the choices each brand offers, we not only select products but also align ourselves with the stories and values they represent. Customer loyalty stems from positive experiences. If the brand fails to deliver, regardless of its size, people won’t purchase again from the same brand. Customers buy from companies they know, like, and trust. 

In this article, we’ll explore a diverse range of examples illustrating brand loyalty. So without further ado, let’s dive in. 

Here’s what we are going to cover: 

  • What is Brand Loyalty? 
  • Why is Brand Loyalty Important?
  • Customer Loyalty vs Brand Loyalty
  • Best Examples of Brand Loyalty
  • How to Build Brand Loyalty?

What is Brand Loyalty?

Brand loyalty is when customers keep buying products or services from the same brand, instead of choosing alternatives from competitors. 

For instance, if a product from a favorite brand is not available in-store, a loyal consumer will seek it out and order it online instead of resorting to purchasing alternatives from other manufacturers. Some customers may consistently choose Apple smartphones, while others remain loyal to Samsung with each purchase. This type of loyalty includes an emotional bond and a generally favorable disposition towards the brand, which can be cultivated through establishing outstanding relationships with your customers. Brand loyalty is closely intertwined with the emotions of customers. Building an emotional connection results in a powerful bond and a competitive edge for the brand. The goal of building brand loyalty is to make customers love your brand so much that they tell their friends, relatives, and colleagues, to support your new products, and talk about you on social media.

Many companies have invested significant time and money into product quality, marketing, and customer service efforts, aiming to captivate customers and position themselves as the go-to option among competitors. 

In other words, brand loyalty embodies marketing success through the long-term retention of customers. It symbolizes the highest level of trust between a business and its customers. It’s a goal numerous companies want to achieve. 

For example, famous brands such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Lego, Starbucks, and Amazon are great examples of brand loyalty, showcasing how effective customer service, engagement, and product quality can cultivate a devoted customer base. 

Brand loyalty is heavily influenced by customers’ perceptions of your brand. It is essential that their values align with yours and that you consistently deliver on your promises.

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Why is Brand Loyalty Important?

In short: Building brand loyalty is crucial because it fuels growth and keeps you relevant in today’s competitive environment. 

Retaining customers and ensuring their return is becoming increasingly difficult nowadays. Why? Because with so many options available, customers can easily compare prices, and read reviews. 

But that’s not all, you might be surprised to learn that the reason customers choose one product over another and develop brand loyalty is closely related to the emotional aspect of people. Neuroscientists have discovered that damage to the brain area responsible for generating emotions prevents people from making decisions. Emotions significantly influence buying habits and overall decision-making processes. 

According to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, 95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously. Gerald Zaltman has devoted decades to exploring consumer behavior. The professor even wrote a book about it: “How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market”

For example, according to Gerald Zaltman’s studies, lots of consumers say they compare brands and prices when they are buying something. Yet, when observing these very consumers, it frequently becomes apparent that they actually don’t actually check other options before picking their favorite brand. When customers start to feel loyal to a brand, they are forming an emotional bond with a company. If customers are loyal to a certain brand they will continue to buy from it overlooking the offerings of rival companies. 

This repeat business is crucial because it provides a steady stream of revenue without the additional costs associated with acquiring new customers. Attracting new customers can be expensive. A business with an established loyal customer base can afford to invest less in marketing and advertising. This is because these customers are already familiar with the benefits of the brand’s products and services. 

Another important reason is that brand-loyal customers tend to spend more over time as their confidence in the brand grows. Studies show that loyal customers tend to buy up to 67% more than new customers. What’s more, they are more likely to try new products from the brand, purchase more expensive items, or increase their overall spending. 

If the increase in sales hasn't already convinced you of the importance of brand loyalty, then consider the valuable feedback provided by loyal customers. Since they are invested in your success, their feedback can be crucial for their continuous investment. 

Furthermore, brand-loyal customers are instrumental in expanding your customer base through positive word-of-mouth. These customers offer free advertising and they are more inclined to recommend your brand to others. 

People are more likely to trust recommendations that come directly from friends and family.

Finally, a loyal customer base not only provides predictable revenue streams but also serves as a strong foundation for growth. Additionally, it ensures you remain competitive in the rapidly changing business world. You can plan and invest in the future more confidently knowing that you have a loyal customer base. This is why creating and maintaining brand loyalty is important for the long-term efficiency and success of your business.

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Customer Loyalty vs Brand Loyalty

You might think brand loyalty is very similar to customer loyalty but they are different concepts. These terms are closely related but there’s a slight difference between the two. So, what is the difference between brand loyalty and customer loyalty? Let’s find out. 

The main difference between customer loyalty and brand loyalty is pricing. 

Customer loyalty focuses on attracting and retaining customers by satisfying their needs and offering value within their budget. To guarantee that customers choose your company over and over again, this involves offering competitive pricing, discounts, and exclusive offers. At its core, customer loyalty is fueled by the purchasing power of consumers and their inclination to prefer businesses that provide the most appealing prices and discounts, encouraging them to continue buying from the same company.

On the other hand, brand loyalty emerges from the customer’s emotional connection and commitment to a brand, driven by their perception of the brand and experiences with the company. It’s not heavily influenced by price, but rather a combination of factors such as the company’s reputation, the quality of customer experiences and products, marketing strategies, and the brand’s overall message. This loyalty means customers are likely to continue purchasing from the brand despite potential cost differences, because of their strong belief in the brand’s superior quality and service. Companies use a variety of techniques to improve their reputation in the eyes of their customers to develop positive associations and a strong emotional bond between the customer and the brand. 

brand loyalty vs customer loyalty

Brand loyalty and customer loyalty are crucial concepts that significantly impact the success of your business. Moreover, these concepts are interconnected, as satisfied customers tend to continue purchasing from the same brand and recommend it to others.

By offering competitive prices and regularly presenting exclusive deals, you can foster customer loyalty. 

When you stick to your company’s core values and offer top-notch products and services that truly help your customers, you gain their loyalty. This means they trust you so much that they don’t even think about looking at what your competitors offer because you always give them what they need. 

When you get both customer and brand loyalty, you retain more customers. Happy customers will eagerly recommend your company to others. The highest level of loyalty is when your customers are so happy that their enthusiasm mirrors that of football fans cheering for their home team. Much like football fans who wear their team’s colors, chant their anthems, these customers proudly advocate for your brand, and become part of the brand’s community. They don’t just use your services or buy your products - they immerse themselves in the ethos of your brand, making it an integral part of their identity. 

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Best Examples of Brand Loyalty

Now that you understand what brand loyalty means, its importance, and the differences it entails, let's explore the best examples of brand loyalty.

01. Apple Brand Loyalty 

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When discussing brand loyalty, Apple is often the first company that comes to your mind. Apple produces high-quality premium products, and the creation of great products is crucial for securing customer loyalty. Apple products are just better. They are. 

Apple makes sure that their products feel perfect in your hands and during use by designing them with a smooth and intuitive user experience in mind. This meticulous approach isn’t accidental. It’s a testament to their unwavering commitment to quality and detail. I didn’t understand what my friends loved about their expensive IPhones, but now I’m an avid IPhone user. 

The designers at Apple prioritize understanding the user's needs, which is evident in every aspect of their product design. A sleek, minimalist design that is both amazing and practical is why people love Apple products. 

Furthermore, Apple's products are made to work well together, forming an ecosystem that makes it hard for users to switch to other brands after they start using Apple products.

Apple’s remarkable success can be attributed to their focus on perfectionism and their relentless pursuit of error-free products, highlighting their extraordinary attention to detail. 

Having said that, Apple has succeeded in cultivating a community of brand loyalty, where customers are not merely users but fervent advocates for the brand. Here are the numbers to back it up:

Apple Brand Loyalty Statistics

  • Over 1 billion people use iPhones now.
  • Apple’s retention rate among Iphone users is 92%. 
  • For the past three years, Apple has succeeded in keeping its customer retention rate above 90%.
  • 84% of current iPhone users intend to buy another Apple product as a replacement for their existing device.
  • 70% of IPhone owners say they will never use an Android phone. 
  • 96.4% of Millennials with iPhones plan to buy another one.

Apple's brand loyalty is remarkable and is on the rise. Furthermore, this loyalty plays a crucial role in the company's success.

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02. Amazon Brand Loyalty

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Amazon, an American tech giant, began as an online bookstore and now focuses on e-commerce, cloud services, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence. Amazon's success mainly comes from their complete focus on making the customer's experience the best it can be. Amazon is typically the first company people think of when it comes to online shopping. They’ve greatly transformed online shopping in the last 20 years. Amazon now is the top choice for shopping. Thanks to its innovative business model, customers can find and buy anything they want from books and clothing to electronics. 

Amazon’s brand loyalty is a result of the company’s fast delivery times, simple returns policy, wide range of products, and constant focus on innovation. The company’s Amazon Prime is one of the best brand loyalty program examples and the sheer number of subscribers is the proof. Customers remain loyal to the brand because of the diverse, high-value benefits and exclusive deals that significantly enhance their overall experience. This premium loyalty program has helped the company retain its current customers and attract new ones. The company's growing dominance in the streaming platform sector is another reason why customers prefer Amazon over other companies. 

Amazon Brand Loyalty Statistics 

  • An impressive 89% of Amazon customers demonstrate brand loyalty.
  • After one year, 93% of Prime members renew their membership, demonstrating strong loyalty to the brand.
  • 48% of Prime Members make purchases on Amazon at least once a week. 
  • At least once a week, 85% of Prime shoppers visit Amazon.

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03. Coca-Cola Brand Loyalty 

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Coca-Cola’s enduring appeal to consumers is a result of its effective marketing, consistent product quality, and emotional connection with consumers. Over the years, the company has mastered the art of creating memorable advertisements that resonate with people globally. The brand has been synonymous with the moments of happiness and togetherness.

For example, when you see Coca-Cola Christmas trucks, you know it's a sign that Christmas is coming. The appearance of those vibrant red trucks and the sound of the classic jingle not only have the power to instill holiday spirit into the coldest of hearts but also evoke cherished childhood memories.

Coca-Cola Brand Loyalty Statistics

  • The company has 109 million fans on its Facebook page.
  • It has 108 million likes on its Facebook page. 
  • About half of the population in the United States consumes Coca-Cola beverages daily.
  • Every second, over 10,000 Coca-Cola drinks are consumed worldwide.

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04. Starbucks Brand Loyalty 

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Starbucks has cultivated strong brand loyalty through a combination of high-quality coffee, a comfortable and inviting store atmosphere, great customer service, and effective use of technology. Their innovative use of technology, particularly the Starbucks app, plays a crucial role in enhancing customer convenience and personalization. The app enables mobile orders, payments, and access to the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, which rewards frequent customers with free drinks, exclusive offers, and personalized discounts. This loyalty program encourages repeat business by creating a sense of belonging and giving them rewards for staying loyal. 

In addition to that, the company’s commitment to sustainability and community involvement resonates with customers’ values, further strengthening their loyalty to the brand. Starbucks’ brand loyalty can be attributed to its ability to provide each customer with a unique and personalized experience, which is reinforced by its use of technology and dedication to positive values.  

Starbucks Brand Loyalty Statistics

  • Starbucks Rewards program has about 31 million active members.
  • In 2023, the number of active members in the United States went up by 15% from the previous year.
  • The 16% increase in the loyalty program from last year shows steady growth, hinting at strong brand loyalty. 
  • 66% of customers choose Starbucks over their neighborhood coffee shop. 

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05. Lego Brand Loyalty 

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Lego is one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world. This consumer-oriented organization has cultivated a cult-like following and significant brand loyalty among its customers. Moreover, its popularity isn't limited to children; many adults are also avid fans of the brand. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Danish toy company is loved by many. The company focuses on innovation, and by working with influencers, Lego allows its customers to be a part of the brand’s business activities and production processes (Lego Ideas). The few people whose ideas are turned into products (like the best-selling medieval blacksmith set) receive 1% of the product's total sales revenue.

Additionally, the company's commitment to sustainability and education further strengthens consumer trust and loyalty. The company promised to spend $1.4 billion to cut down on carbon emissions by 2025, even though it made a little more than $2 billion in profit in 2022. 

The brand fosters a deep emotional connection by being a part of childhood memories and encouraging imaginative play. 

Lego’s Brand Loyalty Statistics 

  • Lego Ideas community has more than 2.8 million customers who have exchanged and discussed over 135,000 proposals for Lego sets.
  • The company has 15 million followers on its Facebook page. 

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How to Build Brand Loyalty? 

To keep customers coming back, developing a strong emotional connection between the company and its customers is fundamental to developing brand loyalty. Here’s how you can do it:

01. Implement Loyalty Programs and Understand your Audience

Implementing a loyalty program or offering rewards personalizes the customer experience and makes customers feel valued. By offering real rewards for continued participation - like discounts, special access, or exclusive offers - these programs promote repeat business by strengthening the overall value proposition of being loyal to your brand. Thanks to loyalty programs, you can learn more about your customers. You can understand their demographics. Loyalty programs provide you with information about customers’ preferences, spending habits, and the challenges they face. By gaining insights into what truly matters to them, you can tailor your products, services, and marketing strategies to meet their specific needs and desires, therefore fostering a deeper emotional connection. 

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02. Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Customer service is the foundation of any business and is essential for increasing customer loyalty. For it to be successful, it should be proactive, not just reactive. It involves anticipating customer needs and addressing them before they turn into issues. This level of service makes customers feel valued and respected, which is a key factor in developing brand loyalty. Happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers and even brand ambassadors. 

What’s more, chatbot automation can help you provide 24/7 customer support by handling typical inquiries and directing more complex ones to agents. 

Self-service can also improve customer service and enhance the customer experience. By integrating a knowledge base into your website, customers can independently resolve common issues. This allows them to find answers to frequently asked questions easily.

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03. Reply to Customers’ Comments on your Social Media Pages

Responding to customers' comments on social media can significantly increase brand loyalty because customers want to feel heard and valued. This personal interaction fosters a sense of community and trust between the brand and its audience. Timely and thoughtful responses to customer feedback or inquiries enhance their overall experience and satisfaction with the brand. Consequently, this positive engagement increases the likelihood of repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations, further solidifying brand loyalty.

Lexus replies to customers’ comments on InstagramSource:
Here’s how Stanley responds to Instagram comments. Source:

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04. Create a Brand Community

A key similarity among the mentioned brand loyalty examples is the presence of a community. Creating a community around your brand boosts loyalty and trust. Your customers value real experiences shared within the community. It offers a platform for direct feedback, making your products and services more customer-focused. Besides, engaged community members are more likely to become brand advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth and drawing in new customers. This strategy makes brand-building easier by leveraging authentic interactions and shared values. 

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Lego is an excellent example of a company with a strong brand community. In 2008, Lego launched its LEGO IDEAS initiative, transforming fans into an online community. Here, Lego enthusiasts of any age can share their creations, vote on their favorites, and help design new products. The LEGO Ideas First 2023 Review Stage exceeded expectations, with an impressive 71 projects submitted by Lego fans. What’s more, the company has done a fantastic job of finding communities outside the company’s official community. They’ve created a program known as the Lego Ambassador Network. The Lego Ambassador Network connects Lego community leaders and content creators worldwide. Members can share ideas, give feedback to Lego, and learn about Lego events. 

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05. Personalization Matters 

Personalization helps customers stay loyal to a brand by creating a unique and tailored shopping experience that resonates with their individual preferences and needs. This approach creates a deeper emotional connection between the customer and the brand. For example, greeting customers by name when they log into your online store or making suggestions based on their needs, buying habits, and past purchases can significantly enhance their shopping experience and foster brand loyalty. Moreover, personalization can help you stand out in a crowded market. 

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Conclusion

Congratulations! You now understand what brand loyalty means, how it differs from customer loyalty, and why it is crucial for the success of any business. Thanks to the best examples of brand loyalty, you now know what they do to gain loyal customers. Moreover, you've learned how to develop brand loyalty. The essence of brand loyalty lies in its ability to forge an emotional connection that leads to a strong bond and a competitive advantage for that particular brand. This means customers and companies win together, making sure the brand stays popular and successful for a long time.

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