Global financial technology platform, Intuit has released a new report focused on the drivers behind consumer behaviour and the tangible insights marketers can take to build loyalty and cultivate meaningful relationships with their customers.  

‘The Science of Loyalty’ report uncovered that as brands and marketers build stronger relationships with their customer base, those customers are significantly more likely to purchase from the brand again.  

With 88% of Australian consumers expressing a preference for brands that make them feel good, diving into science-backed loyalty strategies can assist brands and marketers with setting their brand apart from the competition. 

“Loyalty is more important than ever. Our study found that 78% of Australian consumers will only purchase from brands that are trustworthy, highlighting the significance of establishing a strong connection while guaranteeing credibility. However, surprisingly, only 50% of shoppers expect brands to reward them with deals and discounts, highlighting the changing patterns of consumer loyalty,” Intuit Mailchimp chief marketing officer, Michelle Taite said.

“In today’s ever-changing business landscape, characterised by overwhelming amounts of data and endless options, brands and marketers should be equipped with the tools and resources needed to build marketing strategies that make an impact and build meaningful connections that drive loyalty with their customers.”

To better understand the types of loyal customers, Mailchimp created a commitment spectrum, which ranges from ‘inert’ to ‘fandom’ loyalty. Inert loyalty sees consumers purchase from a brand out of convenience rather than preference. Moving up on the spectrum, other loyalty categories include habitual loyalty, where loyalty emerges from routine rather than emotional ties, followed by dedicated loyalty where consumers form an emotional connection to the brand’s vision and purpose.

What many brands and marketers view as the pinnacle of loyalty—fandom—is characterised by a strong emotional bond and shared values. However, only 13% of global respondents belonged to the fandom loyalty group.

The 12 tactics of loyalty
The report outlines 12 Tactics of Loyalty to assist brands and marketers with building meaningful relationships with consumers. 

  1. Smart exposure: Be top-of-mind with strategically placed brand codes and symbols. Almost half (46%) of Australian repeat purchasers said they know a lot about the brands they purchase from. This rises to 60% globally among fandom purchasers, who feel they know the brand best.
  1. Familiar foundations: Build familiarity by showing up in trusted spaces. About half (48%) of repeat purchasers in Australia said that recommendations from friends or family help them decide what to buy.
  2. Choice validation: To encourage renewed commitment, help customers feel justified in their choice. Only 52% of inert and 51% of habitual customers globally had a very favourable opinion of their preferred brand, but this rises to 84% among fandom purchasers.
  3. New routines: Build repeat purchases into your customer’s routine. Routines are powerful drivers of loyalty. 25% of Australian consumers will repeatedly purchase from the same brand because it’s part of their routine. Globally, 35% of those who purchase on a daily or weekly basis said their preferred brand was the only one they’d consider.
  4. Smooth selling: Remove obstacles that could disrupt shopping journeys. Ease of purchase was the number one brand association for Australians with 97% of repeat purchasers saying their preferred brand makes it quick and easy to purchase; this was the number one brand association for repeat purchase shoppers.
  5. Easy decisions: Create friction-free experiences that combat choice fatigue. Half (49%) of all email subscribers in Australia explore new product offerings through brand emails and 42% went on to make a purchase after reading the message.
  6. Gift giving: Promote organic peer-to-peer marketing through gift giving. Less than half (36%) of Australian customers have recommended their preferred brand to friends or family, and only 20% have given it as a gift, revealing an untapped opportunity for brands to spread the word. However, globally, this increases among 18-24 year olds, of which 43% have recommended their preferred brand to family and friends and 30% have given it as a gift.
  7. Insider status: Help customers feel heard by asking for, and responding to, feedback. The most popular method of contact is email with over half (55%) of Australian shoppers looking to keep in touch with brands this way and 22% subscribed to an email/mailing list. Other popular methods of contact are SMS (20%) and social media (16%). If a brand can’t offer quality customer service across channels, one in four said they would consider switching brands.
  8. Meaningful rewards: Personalise reward programs with customer lifestyles to boost satisfaction. While 50% of repeat Australian purchasers said they’d like their preferred brand to provide them with deals or discounts, rewards aren’t always about monetary incentives. In fact, 88% said their preferred brand made them feel good, which was the second biggest driver of loyalty, after consistency.
  9. Game on: Gamify your rewards to foster a sense of achievement and fun. 28% of repeat purchasers in Australia said they’d like to receive loyalty reward perks from their preferred brand. However, only 18% have joined a loyalty benefits program, suggesting untapped potential.
  10. Shared Interests: Build emotional resonance by aligning with a cultural niche or value. 31% of Australian consumers said they would consider switching brands due to environmental impact (13%) or unethical manufacturing (18%).
  11. Sense Of Ownership: Actively engage consumers to foster a sense of co-collaboration. Customers are keen to provide their thoughts and experiences to brands, with one in four (24%) Australian email subscribers participating in surveys or feedback.