Brand loyalty is a sport.

Have you ever think how sport brands keep you loyal to them? Brand loyalty play an important role in consumers’ purchasing. Brand loyalty is sometimes considered as an asset, where Nike focus its strategy on this principle (Wernerfel, 1991). And you, are you ready to pay more to acquire a product from a brand you love? This loyalty is based on 7 factors: Brand name, Price, Product quality, Style, Store Environment, Promotion and Service quality.

nikeBrand name plays an important role to maintain and get new consumer, in the sport industry. This represents an expensive and time-consuming process for companies. It’s the formation of an image, and a brand identity. Consumers tend to buy easily for a brand well-known than a new one. When we want to buy a new product, we are automatically attract by famous brands, because the name is directly related to an image and quality.

Price is one of the most loyalty drivers. Purchase intention will not be affected by price if consumers have a high brand loyalty, and brand persuasion. For those kind of people, paying more means high quality product, by that they want to avoid risks.

nike dri fit 2Consumer can also be loyal to a brand because of their product quality. For consumers, a good quality product is related to their functional characteristics as being lightweight, waterproof, anti-sweat and durable. So product quality affects performance aspects, and is quite important for consumers. This factor is also related to colors, and fashion.

Where Style in this industry, is a visual look, silhouette, line, which affect the brand perception. It’s related to our psychological behavior, like emotions, interests, and values. Customer can have different level of fashion consciousness, so their purchasing intention will be drive by their relationship their opinion, judgments about style. A brand with a strong style, strong fashion influences, contribute to keep easily their consumer and develop in them their brand loyalty.

20101031_sj_niketown_1For the next two factors we will focus on Nike who are the best in those strategies. When we speak about store environment, Nike has develop some unique store with unique atmosphere in the biggest cities in the world. The DJ present there, the design of the shop and its organization, create stimulus over consumer and they easily purchase product there. Usually, when their is effort made on environment, this service quality is at the same level.

LeBron-James-New-Nike-CommercialPromotion is the basis to get new consumer, and of course keep your old ones. The communication did by brand help the brand to affect consumer by creating into them some ideas and perception in their minds . Nike TV adverts strategy, is to enrolled the best athletes in the world, and wear their product to show to their consumer that Nike is used by the best player, and its dedicated for the champions.

Brandon Jennings Bloodline at Foot LockerThe last factor is the service quality provide by brand. “ The service should correspond to the consumers’ expectation and satisfy their needs and requirements “it’s a simple definition made by Gronroos in 1999. The association of a strong service quality and consumer relationship will generated a long term orientation toward the brand and by consequence the brand loyalty will be affected. Service is evaluated by consumer over 3 main dimensions as functional, technical and image. The salespeople in Foot Locker strongly work on those 3 elements, they know their product perfectly, there is always a person ready to serve you and their image is properly worked with their uniform.

To resume consumer are influenced by those factors, and boost there brand loyalty while purchasing sportswear. It’s also difficult to gain and maintain consumer because there is some external forces as competition, variety, and consumers’ thirst which companies try to understand. Brand name is the most influencing factor over consumer loyalty. The others are also related to brand loyalty and create positive relation as product quality, service or environment. One exception can be style, or fashion, it does not affect directly the loyal spirit of consumer.

Sources :

The Impact of Brand Loyalty on Consumer’s Sportswear Brand Purchase” by Pankaj Kumar Singh and J K Pattanayak

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3 Responses to Brand loyalty is a sport.

  1. clementrigaudeau says:

    This is also an interesting topic.

    When I think about sports brands I firstly think about Nike and Adidas come after. These are the two brands that I really think when I think about sport. Indeed, the communication plans of the two brands were huge, all the best athletes of the world have a sponsorship with Nike or Adidas. They really made the difference at this stage with other competitors which stay under these 2 brands.

  2. charlesrupin says:

    For a sport and Nike fan like me, it is a really interesting topic and the way you named it is a very relevant kind of “mise en abyme”. Indeed, I totally agree with you, keeping customer loyal or engaged is even more than a sport for brands.

    As you said, the identity of a brand is important to differenciate from other brands. Nike doesn’t have this problem thanks to the uniqueness of their logo, name and motto. This is today the world’s number one sport equipment retailer.

    Finally, you resumed perfectly what are the variables to appeal and retain a customer: price, quality, and so on. The interesting fact is that Nike is today a fashion brand whereas CEO’s claimed for a long time that Nike was only a sport brand. They appealed a large target without really wanted it.

  3. laraelfadel says:

    Very relevant subject !
    I think that the price is the most important element is a brand loyalty. Indeed, when a consumer wants to buy something from a brand that he is loyal to, the price will not influence its purchase. They don’t mind paying more to get the quality and the service of the brand.

    Moreover, the brand name is very important because it is related to the image of the company. Some brands for example are selling sports clothes even though they are not specialized in it, but in my opinion I would rather buy sports clothes to a shop like Nike than H&M.

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