Brand loyalty: It’s the biggest factor of your brand’s success. If you don’t have a loyal customer base that purchases from you time and time again, you have to compete with other brands on factors like price and convenience.
And when consumers choose your brand based on how accessible you are–or how low your price is–your brand has become a commodity. You’re faced with slashing prices and focusing on the next gimmick, plus you’re always at risk of losing customers to brands that can offer a better deal.
In order to avoid becoming a commodity, you need to build and nurture brand loyalty. And when you’re part of a marketing or brand team, it’s important to understand what inspires brand loyalty (or lack thereof) so you can make smarter decisions about your brand strategy.
What is brand loyalty?
Brand loyalty is just one part of your overall brand equity, which is the extent of your brand’s power as determined by consumers’ positive or negative knowledge, perceptions, and experiences with your brand.
Brand loyalty definition: When your customers have the opportunity and good reason to choose another brand and yet they continue to choose yours—that’s brand loyalty.
And although there are other factors that contribute to your brand equity, like brand awareness and brand attributes, brand loyalty is hugely important because it’s a measurement of how likely consumers are to continue to give you their business.
The best way to measure brand loyalty is through surveys. When you collect feedback from consumers in your target market (especially those who have purchased from your brand in the past), you can assess how good your brand is at inspiring loyalty–and retaining customers.
How to measure brand loyalty with surveys
Surveys can be a useful tool for assessing loyalty based on 5 key metrics: customer affinity, trust, esteem, reliability, and identification.
Good measures of these aspects of your brand can help you identify areas of competition, evaluate the stickiness of established customer bases in different markets, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of specific product lines. Read on for sample brand loyalty survey questions and examples.
Metric 1: Customer satisfaction
First, asking about overall customer satisfaction helps you understand how, in general, your products and services are meeting or (better yet) exceeding customer expectations.
You might ask questions like:
• How convenient is our company to use?
• Compared to our competitors, is our product quality better, worse, or about the same?
• How well do our customer service representatives answer your questions?
• How likely are you to recommend us to others?
Loyalty builds when customers become committed to your brand and make repeat purchases over time. You want to understand what is inspiring that commitment on their part.
Metric 2: Trust
All brands must earn and retain the trust of their customers to ensure loyalty, but trust is especially important for brands that handle sensitive information, such as banks, online retailers, or healthcare providers.
If your brand handles sensitive information, assess the level of trust your customers feel for your brand. Ask questions like:
• Do you trust our brand?
• How did we earn your trust?
• How do we keep your trust?
Use responses to questions about trust to inform the products you offer–and target your brand messaging accordingly.
Metric 3: Esteem
Brand esteem or goodwill is customers’ respect for and attraction to a particular brand. It’s not to be confused with brand awareness or familiarity, which is the level of recognition of a brand. While a brand might be well known (a good thing), it may not in fact be well regarded (not a good thing). Brand esteem is about the favorable sentiment toward a brand.
You can use a series of questions to distinguish brand awareness from brand esteem:
• Have you heard of our brand before? (familiarity)
• How well do you know our brand? (familiarity)
• How positively do you regard our brand? (esteem)
• Do you prefer our brand over our competitor? (esteem)
Metrics 4 and 5: Perceived quality and value
A customer’s perceived quality of a brand is their opinion of a particular product’s, service’s or brand’s ability to fulfill his or her expectations:
• How reliable would you consider our brand?
• How would you rate the quality of our product?
Closely related is perceived value, which is a consumer’s opinion of a product’s value to him or her specifically.
For example, a person might view Tesla Motors as a brand that produces innovative, attractive electric vehicles that amaze and delight and would rate perceived quality quite high. However, if that same person considers the price tag to be a bit too steep, the perceived value might be low for her or him specifically.
Here are some brand loyalty survey question examples that measure perceived value:
• How valuable is [brand or product] to you?
• How likely would it be for you to switch brands if an alternative brand was sold in a more convenient location?
• How likely would it be for you to switch brands if an alternative brand was cheaper?
Digging deeper: Which brand attributes positively impact brand loyalty?
Finding out how loyal customers feel toward your brand is important, but digging deeper for insights on what specifically contributes to that loyalty is important too. Read more about managing and strengthening your brand on our branding resource page, and access expert-certified branding survey templates.