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Ernst & Young Sees US Brand Loyalty Disappearing

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 30, 2012 10:02 AM

It doesn’t seem that long ago that marketers kept pretty busy trying to lure consumers in at younger ages in order to keep them onboard for the rest of their lives. Once an (insert product here) user, always an (insert product here) user.

But money—or lack of it—has a way of changing things. Forbes reports that brand loyalty is seriously on the downswing in America, which is bad news for marketers. The source: a new study by Ernst & Young of more than 25,000 people in 34 different markets worldwide resulted in the new info that brand loyalty is only just below 40% across all of those markets but is at a lowly 25% in the States.

The way Ernst & Young put it makes it sound as if the American consumer has had a bad accident: “Customer behavior has changed beyond recognition.” However you phrase it, marketers have some adjusting to do.

Two things that are key to purchase decisions and scored high in the study, Forbes notes, are price (89%) and quality (82%). Forbes also points out that another study by Ask Your Target Market, which “asked 2,000 consumers to rank in order of importance the factors which affect why they love a given brand,” had price and quality at the top of the rankings.

And, of course, now that consumers have become more price- and quality-conscious, it is likely to be a while before brand loyalty goes back up, no matter how well the economy starts doing.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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