Brand Bonding: Most Consumers Remain Loyal During The Pandemic

Email copywriters can rest easyCustomers are likely to open their messages if they are properly branded. The reason: Simple loyalty.

Almost all consumers are loyal to brands, and many will trust them with their personal data, according to What’s Next 4 Consumers, a study by GfK. 

Of the consumers polled, 87% are loyal to at least a few brands. Drilling down, 43% have "a lot" of favorite brands, and 44% have a few. Only 12% are not swayed by branding. 

Moreover, 36% are more likely to trust brands with their data, and that figure is 66% among higher income households and 60% for higher-educated ones. Only 15% say they are less trusting of brands. 

In addition, 36% are more trusting of online sellers, at least somewhat, and 43% feel that way about brick-and-mortar stores. 

“On the broadest measures, we see that brands held on to loyalty — and perhaps even grew their consumer relationships,” states Eric Villain, senior vice president of Marketing Effectiveness at GfK.  



Email can help to foster loyalty — for one, by providing discount offers and reminders and notifications about rewards earned. But it can serve a broader purpose in communicating company values — something that is not easy to do in a concise and engaging manner. 

The study shows that 54% feel strongly that to earn their loyalty, brands must treat people of all ethnicities, races and genders equally.

However, 32% frequently avoid brands because of social positions they have taken. Yet only 25% say brands should definitely told views on extreme social unrest or violence.  

Women are likely to have only a few favorite brands, and they are less swayed by a company’s social values. In contrast, men are loyal to a lot of brands.

Price is important — 44% in the upper-income brackets ($150,000 per year or more) now need to consider the price of an item more than they did in the past. And 38% are more prone to buy whatever is convenient or inexpensive.

The attitude toward buying national also comes into play. For example, 76% say products made in the U.S. carry at least some weight with them when they are deciding what to buy. But only 30% feel U.S. products are of higher quality, and a mere 22% believe the U.S. produces more innovative things, with upper-income and higher-educated households more likely to say so in both cases.   

Don’t expect things to return to normal too soon. 

“We see some of these changes as permanent, while others are likely to evolve. There has never been a more crucial time to stay in close touch with people in the U.S. — with a renewed dedication to revealing what matters to them and leaning into those concerns and needs.”

GfK surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers in late February 2021. 




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