Survey: Context-Based Experiences Important for Brand Loyalty

Customers will switch brands if they don't receive consistent, context-based experiences according to the results of a  consumer brand loyalty study sponsored by Sitecore. Sitecore is a customer experience management company that is releasing the study to coincide with the launch of their Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) 8.1. The study was based on insight from more than 1,000 consumers in North America. Conducted in conjunction with King Brown Partners, the research analyzes digital consumers’ attitudes and behaviors towards categories and brands, specifically those of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and millennials (born between 1982 and 2004).

While overall brand satisfaction is high at 76 percent, context-based experiences emerged as a key driver of brand loyalty. Specifically, millennials are 70 percent more likely than boomers to strongly believe that “brands are not using the most relevant technology to interact with me”, and 30 percent are more likely to strongly believe that “brands that use the right technology…are doing better than those that don’t.” Of note, many consumers, particularly millennials, are open to interacting with brands via different channels. When it comes to personalized offers, 66 percent of millennials find it highly aggravating when personalized advertising is off-target.

The survey also found that consumers have varied expectations for brick-and-mortar versus online experiences with some differences between the generational cohorts:

  • Boomers are nearly 80 percent more likely to believe brick-and-mortar retailers treat their customers the best
  • Boomers are much less likely than millennials to switch brands because another brand makes it easier to interact with them using various technology platforms
  • Boomers are 73 percent more likely than millennials to prefer interaction with a brand via direct mail while millennials are much more likely to prefer social media and mobile apps
  • Millennials are almost three times more likely to believe personal technology brands are best in treating their customers 

In other findings, the survey noted that faster service and convenience drive brand favorability:

  • Eighty percent of respondents overall agreed that offering consistent shopping experiences strongly impacts brand perception
  • Nine times as many millennials picked different ways to purchase as the most impactful strategy in improving brand favorability, while boomers were much more likely to select consistent experience in shopping as the number one driver of brand perception
  • Eighty-six percent of respondents say faster service strongly impacts their brand perception
  • Ninety-one percent of consumers would switch brands if another offers better customer service
  • Eighty-nine percent of consumers would switch brands if they received poor customer service
  • Ninety percent of consumers would switch brands if the brand promises one thing and delivers another

“To get the customer experience right and retain customers for life, brands must cater to the changing tides of millennial expectations,” said Scott Anderson, CMO, Sitecore. “Long gone are the days where a ‘one size fits all’ approach will satisfy a customer’s needs. The data shows that in today’s fast-changing world, consumer loyalty to a brand depends on consistency, convenience, and context. With this insight, marketers have an opportunity to adapt their strategies with the consumer in mind.”