The topmost priority of any brand or company should be to develop and maintain the loyalty of its customers. There are two kinds of loyalty which should be developed by companies if they wish to enhance their ROI (Return on Investment), i.e. brand loyalty and customer loyalty. It is important for companies to comprehend the difference between the two so that they can acquire the benefits of both kinds of loyalty.

Definitions and explanations

Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty refers to the positive association that the customers have with a specific product, which is expressed by their repeated purchase of the product, even when competing alternatives are available. The ultimate goal for marketing professionals is to acquire and sustain brand loyalty for a particular product.

The most famous brand name products are usually present in very competitive markets, with a wide range of new and old competing products that are quite different to differentiate. Customers who are brand loyal are going to purchase the brand and will not be influenced by price or convenience factors. These customers are satisfied as the product fulfills their requirements, and so, they do not want to try another brand.

Customer Loyalty

In customer loyalty, consumers keep returning to a company. Customer loyalty pertains to the overall spending power of the customers. It signifies what companies can offer to their customers with respect to regular prices and price-reduction offers. A person who exhibits customer loyalty may be keen on trying other products by the same company.

Companies can encourage customer loyalty by generally offering low prices and loyalty discounts, promotional pricing or special offers. Through such offers, customers will be convinced that a particular company offers products that are least expensive. When they are convinced about this, they will not buy products from another company.

Difference between brand loyalty and customer loyalty

The main difference between brand loyalty and customer loyalty has been given below:

1. Meaning

Brand and customer loyalty are both created by consistent, positive emotions; however, they are both very different from one another.

Brand loyalty typically signifies the way customers perceive the brand. A positive image needs to be instilled by the business in the minds of their customers if they wish to create high levels of brand loyalty. Customer loyalty, on the other hand, involves the provision of products/services that fulfill the financial requirements and budget of the market. A high level of customer loyalty can be created when the business offers the correct pricing, discounts as well as special offers. Hence, in brand loyalty, customers purchase the products without thinking about the prices as they have complete faith in the business. On the other hand, in customer loyalty, customers will come to the brand to buy the products and services that they consider to be within their budget.

2. Marketing strategies

The ultimate objective of both brand loyalty and customer loyalty is increasing the number of sales. However, there are different strategies that can be adopted to achieve this goal.

A company can enhance brand loyalty by trying to achieve customer satisfaction. They should try to make the experiences of customers as fulfilling as possible by offering them impeccable services and organizing fun-filled activities. Customer loyalty can be achieved by assessing the market to comprehend their financial potential and the spending ability of their customers. Hence, the company may decide to offer promotions and discounts in accordance with the requirements of the market.

3. Customer retention strategies

It is important to retain brand-loyal as well as customer-loyal consumers. Businesses can retain brand-loyal customers more easily by ensuring that they continue to offer the same (or preferably higher) level of performance all the time. They need to ensure that the quality of their products/service remains consistent so that customers do not feel the need to check other companies. However, it is a little more difficult to retain customer-loyal consumers because companies need to ensure consistently that their prices are less than the market.

4. Purchase quantities

Customer-loyal customers may buy greater number of goods at a lower cost, whereas brand-loyalty may result in the sale of lower quantity of products, but with a high-profit margin.

5. Distinct messages

When dealing with brand loyalty, companies need to keep their customers updated by dispatching regular information about the brand, flyers and posts.

On the other hand, messages are sent to customer-loyal consumers to keep them informed about the discounts, promotions and special offers.

6. Reminder to customers

For customer-loyalty, it is not important to reach customers frequently about the promotions and discounts; rather, the focus is on distributing the news in a proper manner. People should be aware of sales before they are offered. On the other hand, for brand loyalty, frequency is significant and customers should be reminded of the mission and vision of the brand from time to time. However, they do not have to be aggressive in their campaigns.

Brand loyalty vs customer loyalty – tabular comparison

A tabular comparison of brand loyalty and customer is given below:

Brand loyalty vs Customer loyalty
Perception of customers about the brand Provision of products/services that meet the financial requirements and budgets of the market
Marketing strategies
Achieving customer satisfaction Determining the financial ability and spending power of customers, and providing discounts and promotions accordingly
Customer Retention Strategies
Providing same, or higher level of performance consistently Ensuring that prices are consistently less than the market
Purchase quantities
Fewer goods may be brought by customers, but at a high margin of profit Greater goods at lower prices may be brought by customers
Distinct messages
Sending flyers to customers to keep them updated about the brand Keep customers informed about any upcoming sales, discounts, promotions or special offers
Reminder to customers
Customers should be reminded from time to time about the mission and vision of the brand Frequent reminders do not have to be sent to customers

Conclusion – brand loyalty vs customer loyalty

It is very important for companies to retain their existing customers because acquiring new customers is quite difficult and even a lot more costly than retaining customers. Companies need to develop loyalty within their customers, and then ensure that the customers remain loyal to their brand. Hence, whatever the differences between brand loyalty and customer loyalty, they are both important for a company because their end result is the same – greater number of sales for the company.