Operating in increasingly crowded markets where consumers have a multitude of tools at their disposal to help them find the best possible deal, for brands, the value of customer loyalty is higher than ever before.
Despite this, in succumbing to providing short-term benefits of convenience and value for money to compete with other businesses in a constant ‘race to the bottom’, it can be easy for brands to lose sight of the value of a loyal customer.
Rapidly evolving customer expectations surrounding loyalty means it is vital for brands to gain a comprehensive understanding of their audiences in order to adapt and refine their services to provide innovative, bespoke offerings that promote customer retention and deliver long-term benefits.
To gain insight into this, we surveyed 1,000 UK consumers to investigate their views on customer loyalty, providing brands with a resource to help inform and shape the engagement offerings that people desire.
Respondents were asked questions on a wide range of topics including brand engagement across the utility, banking, insurance, supermarket, fashion retail, in-house telecom, mobile network operator and media provider vertical sectors; attitudes towards loyalty schemes and what they offer; how brands communicate with them; and what makes them disloyal.
The report revealed that nearly half of UK consumers (47%) believe it no longer pays to be loyal, and with leading consumer finance experts promoting the idea that it is better to shop around, it comes as no surprise that some 57% of consumers have switched providers in at least one market sector (utility, banking, mobile network operator, supermarket, fashion retail, in-house telecom and media) in the last 12 months.
More than one fifth had switched ether utility or insurance providers, 22% and 21% respectively, and more than one in eight (13%) had switched their in-house telecoms provider in the past year.
However, more than a third of consumers across all market sectors said they would be loyal to brands if they got true value for their loyalty.
When asked to identify which brands they felt most loyal to across differing market sectors, the brands that consumers feel most actively loyal to in each sector were identified as:
- Media provider – Netflix (32%)
- In-house telecoms – Sky (23%)
- Supermarket – Tesco (20%)
- Utility – British Gas (18%)
- Mobile network operator – EE (18%)
- Fashion retailer – Primark (17%)
- Insurance – Aviva (14%)
- Banking – NatWest (12%)
Consumers were also asked how they like their loyalty to be rewarded, identifying supermarket vouchers (53%), restaurant discounts (24%) and cinema discounts or tickets (19%) as the options they felt offered them best value for staying loyal.