Brand loyalty

Stuff reports:

Progressive Enterprises, which owns supermarkets, is trying to win back shopper loyalty.

Fed a diet of “specials” for decades, shoppers have learnt to shop around for the best prices, and now display a clear lack of loyalty to any one of the big supermarket brands.

Our promiscuity is such that just less than one in ten of us do our grocery shopping exclusively at Countdown supermarkets. …

Instead, most of us go where we think the bargains are.

The majority of us split our shops between different supermarkets, and quite a few of us also pop into the speciality stores like The Mad Butcher, or FruitWorld for some items.

If the stuff we want is not on special at the supermarket we visit, we are likely to head off to a rival store, where we hope it will be.

“Price, price, price is the number one thing that New Zealanders expect when shopping.” says Bridget Lamont, Countdown’s general manager for marketting. “We are among the most price conscious shoppers in the world.”

Foodstuffs’ spokeswoman, Antoinette Laird, said New Zealanders were the world’s most “specials” driven grocery shoppers.

Around 60 per cent of grocery purchases are made on special-priced items, begging the question whether the special price couldn’t now more properly be described as the usual price.

In Australia the figure is around 40 per cent. In the UK it is around 30 per cent.

The lack of brand loyalty is interesting. I think the Internet is partly to blame/credit. One can check online for the best prices, and even order online now for so much stuff.

Also a fair few people will use services such as Consumer to work out the best purchase, rather than just go with the usual brand.

The article got me thinking about how much brand loyalty I have in various areas. Off hand it is:

  • Petrol – almost none. Tend to use Z Energy as closest
  • Supermarkets – moderate preference for New World, as especially like New World Thorndon and know layout. However shopped online at Countdown before New World offered the same.
  • Building stuff – moderate preference for Bunnings
  • Flights – very strong preference for Air New Zealand, due to excellent service and staff plus loyalty scheme
  • Car – no strong brand preference, price key feature. There are brands I want (such as BMW), but can’t yet afford
  • Electricity – strong preference for Powershop as I like their purchasing model
  • Running Shoes – strong preference for Asics
  • Laptops – moderate preference for Sony as have found their Vaios good
  • Phones – Will cry if it is not an iPhone
  • Whiteware – no brand preference, will be guided by Consumer ratings and availability at Cherrytree
  • Hotels – have some brands I will avoid, but beyond that little preference – guided by TripAdvisor
  • Rental Cars – moderate preference for Hertz based on usually moderately priced and good quality cars.

So interesting to reflect which areas you do develop a brand preference, and which ones you don’t.

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