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Big brands are failing to move the dial on customer loyalty

Newly-published research from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has revealed a rise in the percentage of UK consumers not feeling loyal enough to name any brand as their favourite.

The survey underpinning the ‘Customer Engagement: How to Win Trust and Loyalty‘ report saw over a third of consumers (35%) fail to name a ‘favourite’ brand, an increase from 33% in 2018.

Sponsored by dotdigital and Collinson, the research asked participants to name the brand they felt most loyal to. The findings largely mirrored those of the 2018 report, with Amazon the most mentioned brand (15%, up 1% from 2018). Marks & Spencer (4%), John Lewis (4%), Tesco (3%) and Apple (3%) came next, all of which remained largely unchanged from the previous survey.

Tim Bond, Head of Insight at DMA, said: “Somewhat surprisingly, despite consumers’ heavy reliance on Amazon’s services during 2020’s nationwide lockdowns, it has not gained significant traction on customer loyalty over the last two years. Coronavirus has led to an increasing number of consumers relying on brands like Amazon for key services, but this appears to be driven by necessity and not entirely preference.

“There are also an increasing number of consumers who report not feeling loyal enough to name any brand as their favourite, which suggests that there is still a huge window of opportunity for less established brands to secure a loyal customer base.”

When those who failed to name a favourite brand were quizzed further on their lack of brand loyalty 38% said they didn’t feel rewarded enough and like try new brands, 33% revealed they often switch brands to get a deal or discount and 29% don’t feel strongly enough to call themselves ‘loyal’.

Bond said: “The good news is that two out of the three reasons given are barriers that brands should be able to overcome themselves, with the right strategies. Indeed, reward mechanisms for continued loyalty, such as wider benefits and offers, can be revisited to give consumers relevant value. Furthermore, innovation and communication about improvements can be used to attract those who seek change and novelty.”

You can read the full report here.