FACTORS OF BRAND LOYALTY
Lau et al. (2006) in his article mentioned that there were seven factors that influenced consumers‘ brand loyalty towards certain spo product quality, price, style, store environment, promotion and service quality.
Famous brand names can disseminate product benefits and lead to higher recall of advertised benefits than non-famous brand names (Keller, 2003). There are many unfamiliar brand names and alternatives available in the market place. Consumers may prefer to trust major famous brand names. These prestigious brand names and their images attract consumers to purchase the brand and bring about repeat purchasing behaviour and reduce price related switching behaviours (Cadogan and Foster, 2000). Furthermore, bra emotional and self-expressive benefits for differentiation. This is important for brands which have only minor physical differences and are consumed in a social setting where the brand can create a visible image about the consumer itself.
Product Quality encompasses the features and characteristics of a product or service that bears on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs. In other words, product quality is defined as ―fitness for use‖ or ‗conformance to requirement‖. Consumers may repeat the purchase of single brands or switch around several brands due to the tangible quality of the product sold. According to Frings (2005), the components of product quality of fashion merchandise include size measurement, cutting or fitting, material, colour, function and the performance of the merchandise. Fitting is a crucial aspect in garment selection because some fitted garments such as swimsuits and aerobic wear can ideally enh is important in product quality because it affects the hand feel, texture and other performance aspects of the product. Further, consumers relate personally to colour, and could select or reject a fashion because of colour. If the colour does not appeal to them or flatter their own colour, they will reject the fashion.
Functional attributes in sportswear include quick-dry, breathable, waterproof, odour-resistant, lightweight, and antimicrobial and finally, durability which is the use life of garments. For instance, some consumers wear their sportswear for heavy work and some for leisure and sports, as they need a lot of movement, while durability is an important consideration in purchasing sportswear. Perfectionist or quality consciousness is defined as an awareness of and desire for high quality products, and the need to make the best or perfect choice versus buying the first product or brand available (Sproles and Kendall, 1986). This indicates that quality characteristics are also related to performance.
According to Cadogan and Foster (2000), price is probably the most important consideration for the average consumer. Consumers with high brand loyalty are willing to pay a premium price for their favoured brand, so, their purchase intention is not easily affected by price. In addition, customers have a strong belief in the price and value of their favourite brands so much so that they would compare and evaluate prices with alternative brands (Evans et al.,
1996; Keller, 2003). Consumers‘ satisfaction costs and values. If the perceived values of the product are greater than cost, it is observed that consumers will purchase that product.
Loyal customers are willing to pay a premium even if the price has increased because the perceived risk is very high and they prefer to pay a higher price to avoid the risk of any change (Yoon and Kim, 2000). Basically, long-term relationships of service loyalty make loyal customers more price tolerant, since loyalty discourages customers from making price comparison with other products by shopping around. Price has increasingly become a focal point in consumers‘entsofoffer valuejudgmaswell as their overall assessment of the retailer (De Ruyter et al., 1999). According to Bucklin et al. (1998), price significantly influences consumer choice and incidence of purchase. He emphasized that discount pricing makes households switch brands and buy products earlier than needed. Price is described as the quantity of payment or compensation for something. It indicates price as an exchange ratio between goods that pay for each other. Price also communicates to the market the company‘s intended valu its product or brand. Price consciousness is defined as finding the best value, buying at sale prices or the lowest price choice (Sproles and Kendall, 1986). Additionally, consumers generally evaluated market price against an internal reference price, before they decide on the attractiveness of the retail price.
Style is visual appearance, which includes line, silhouette and details affecting consumer perception towards a brand (Frings, 2005). According to Abraham and Littrell (1995), a composite list of apparel attributes has been generated and one of the conceptual categories is style. Consumers‘ judgment depends on the c judgment will be conditioned by their opinion of what is currently fashionable. Brands that supply stylish sportswear attract loyal consumers who are fashion conscious. Fashion leaders or followers usually purchase or continue to repeatedly purchase their fashion garments in stores that are highly fashionable. They gain satisfaction from wearing the latest fashion and style which also satisfies their ego.
A research conducted by Duff (1999) inve sportswear, and the results showed that sportswear shoppers were becoming more fashion conscious and were demanding products with more style; furthermore, consumers have a tendency to wear different attires for different occasions. According to Sproles and Kendall (1986), fashion consciousness is generally defined as an awareness of new styles, changing fashions, and attractive styling, as well as the desire to buy something exciting and trendy.
Omar (1999) emphasised that the store environment was the single most important factor in retail marketing success and store longevity. Positive attributes of the store, which include store location, store layout, and in-store stimuli, affect brand loyalty to some extent. Store location and number of outlets are crucial in altering consumer shopping and purchasing patterns. If consumers find the store to be highly accessible during their shopping trip and are
satisfied with the store‘s assortment and ser (Evans et al., 1996). Thus, a store‘sfactors thatatmospherecouldinfluence is consumer‘s decision making.
The stimuli in the store, such as the characteristic of other shoppers and salespeople, store layout, noises, smells, temperature, shelf space and displays, sign, colours, and merchandise, affect consumers and serve as elements of apparel attributes (Abraham and Littrell, 1995), which may in turn, affect consumer decision making and satisfaction with the brand (Evans et al., 1996). On the other hand, background music played in the stores affects attitudes and behaviour (Milliman, 1982). The slow-beat musical selection leads to higher sales volume as consumers spend more time and money in a conducive environment. There are many advantages to retailers having loyal customers. As stated by Huddleston et al. (2004), customer loyalty could yield a favourable operating cost advantage for retailers. Furthermore, they stressed that obtaining new customers cost five to six times as much as retaining current customers. Loyal customers can increase their purchase spending, they are low cost for retailers as compared to obtaining new customers; they accept price premiums and they have customer longevity. Research conducted by Lin and Chang (2003) showed that the channel convenience of the brands had significant influence on buying behaviour. This means that the accessibility to this product/brand in the store is important when purchasing low involvement products. Consumers will not go to another store just to find the brand. Instead, they will stay put and choose another brand.
Promotion is a marketing mix component which is a kind of communication with consumers. Promotion includes the use of advertising, sales promotions, personal selling and publicity. Advertising is a non-personal presentation of information in mass media about a product, brand, company or store. It greatly towards products and brands, and in turn, influences their purchase behaviours (Evans et al., 1996). This shows that promotion, especially through advertising, can help establish ideas or perceptions in the consumers‘ minds as well a According to Rowley (1998), promotion is an important element of a firm‘s marketing strategy.
Promotion is used to communicate with customers with respect to product offerings, and it is also a way to encourage purchase or sales of a product or service. Sales promotion tools are used by most organisations in support of advertising and public relations activities, and they are targeted toward consumers as final users. She also states that promotion has a key role in determining profitability and market success and is one of the key elements of the marketing mix which includes advertising; direct marketing; sales promotion; public relations and publicity; personal selling and sponsorship.
A common definition of service quality is that the service should correspond to the customers‘ expectations and satisfyoos,1990). Servicetheir ne quality is a kind of personal selling, and involves direct interactions between salespeople and potential buyers. Consumers like to shop at specific stores because they like the services provided and are assured of certain service privileges. The impact of salespeople-consumer relationships will generally result in longterm orientation of consumers towards the store or brand. Trust in salespeople appears to relate and results in the consumer being totally satisfied with the stores in the end. Additionally, personalisation (i.e. reliability, responsiveness, personalization and tangibles) significantly influence consumers‘ experience andrand evaluatioloyalty of consumers (To and Leung, 2001). Gronroos (1990) noted that the quality of a service as perceived by customers had three dimensions: functional (or process) dimension, technical (or outcome) dimension, and image. Furthermore, Richard and Allaway (1993) argued that utilizing only functional quality attributes to explai misspecification of service quality and had low predictive validity.