Luxury, Loyalty & Trust
In our four years in the marketing research sector we discovered, and published in this report, that all brands would ultimately like to attain loyalty from their customers, translating into financial benefit and / or personalised offers. This is very common for mainstream low- to mid-price brands, but when it comes to luxury brands, with customer experience and exclusivity play a major role, do the same loyalty strategies apply?
As a recent article by David Skerrett in The Drum pointed out, there are some myths around luxury in loyalty including “luxury customers don’t want a loyalty scheme”. Yet at the same time the cost of attracting a new customer is five times higher than retaining one; a supremely high cost per customer acquisition. This leads Skerrett to ask why so many luxury brands such as Burberry and Ralph Lauren don’t invest in a loyalty scheme, as luxury customers do return and repurchase time after time.
Consistent with this, we found that 61% of luxury consumers would like to be part of a loyalty scheme and the two most selected rewards for credits earned were “discount” (57%) and “money” (49%). However, when we asked what it is most the important factor when choosing a luxury brand, price only came third:
It is fair to assume that the bond between brand and consumer is established through quality and product design. This is also supported by the fact that 36% would lose their trust in their favorite brand if they witnessed a drop in the product quality or encountering issues with the brand design, such as finding it too risky, out of fashion, stalled or not innovative.
Additionally, those reasons are frequently mixed with both poor buying experiences and ethical concerns over labour and animal rights. Interestingly enough, if price increases 4% of people will lose trust in the brand: a similar percentage (3%)to those losing trust because a brand becomes mainstream or less exclusive.
Attracting a new consumer costs five times more than retaining an old one and 61% of luxury consumers would like to be part of a loyalty scheme.
Initial trust between brands and consumer is established through product quality and design, and long-lasting loyalty can be achieved by rewarding consumers with economic gains.
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