Allan L. Baldinger and Joel Robinson of The NPD Group conducted a major study to better understand the link between attitude and behavior in brand loyalty. They found the following:
• The larger the brand, the larger the group of consumers whose attitudes towards the brand are stronger than their behavior (“prospects”) and the larger the group of consumers whose attitudes toward the brand are weaker than their behavior (“vulnerables”).
• Brands that have more “prospects” than “vulnerables” tend to increase market share; brands that have more “vulnerables” than “prospects” tend to lose market share. A key characteristic of a healthy brand is that it has more “prospects” than “vulnerables.”
• Healthy brands would do well to focus on trial-generating strategies because the attitudinal commitment of its buyers, both current and new, will be strong.
• Unhealthy brands would do well to fix image problems and strive for improvements in key attribute ratings among their current loyal consumers. This would lead to an emphasis on retention strategies through communications and product offerings.
Baldinger and Robinson also discovered a surprisingly low year-to-year retention rate (approximately 50%) among consumers who were highly loyal (behaviorally) to brands.
Source: Baldinger, Allan L. and Joel Rubinson, “Brand Loyalty: The Link Between Attitude and Behavior”
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