Research conducted by Facebook attempted to determine if brand loyalty is dead by surveying 14,700 adults in the U.S. The survey revealed that 77 percent of respondents continue to buy the same brands over and over. Of that 77 percent, 37 percent reported that they make repeat purchases and are loyal to a company (“Brand Loyalists”). The remaining 40 percent reported that they also make repeat purchases but are not necessarily loyal to a company (“Repeat Purchasers”).
Many believe that Millennials (age 18-34) are not at all loyal to brands. However, this is very inaccurate. Many Millennials want to be loyal to brands. In fact, they are 1.75 times more likely than Boomers to say they would like to be brand-loyal. Their loyalty to brands ultimately depends on industry. They tend to be less loyal in industries where experience and price play a large role, like Airlines and Hotels.
Millennials have unique barriers to brand loyalty, and these barriers depend on industry. When compared to Boomers, Millennials were more likely to say that a move in location was a barrier to brand loyalty for auto insurance. For the grocery industry, they were 2.5 times more likely to cite a store’s hygiene as a barrier to brand loyalty. Further, Millennials were 2 times more likely to cite a lack of healthy options as a barrier for restaurant loyalty. With regard to airlines and hotels, Millennials were 2.33 and 2 times more likely than Boomers to report difficulty in reaching a contact as a barrier, respectively.
Finally, social media seems to play a large role in brand loyalty. The research revealed that individuals who use Facebook more than five times a day were 1.25 times more likely to be Brand Loyalists than those who only used the site at least once a month. This is also the case for Instagram. Individuals who use Instagram more than five times a day are 1.26 times more likely to be Brand Loyalists than those who used it less.