The Customer’s Brain: The Psychology Behind Brand Loyalty

by Emily Retherford

2 min read

People become emotionally invested in a business through brand loyalty. To develop a loyal brand following, create a persona that comforts and relates to your customer base. Use colours effectively to invoke emotions, or choose specific words in published items to invoke certain feelings and thoughts in customers. Brand loyalty is an emotional bond, so craft a sense of belonging and make customers excited to represent your business. Know who your target audience is, create a brand that fits your audience, and have your brand interact with the customers.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The fundamental reasoning behind some decisions can be explained by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This psychological explanation breaks human needs into categories. There are six categories in total, with the lowest being the essentials for life function. The hierarchy is depicted by a pyramid. Before one category is sought after, all categories placed below it must be fulfilled.

The pyramid’s base relates to physiological needs. This includes breathing, food, water, and sleep. The next group is safety; does the individual feel security regarding health, employment, and family? These two groups are the most secure when attempting to relate to customers as customers must fulfill these needs before moving onto other opportunities. After attaining love, belonging, self-esteem, respect, and confidence, an individual seeks self-actualization, including creativity, spontaneity, and a lack of prejudice. Therefore, if your company’s brand emphasizes these self-actualization benefits, it is important to note customers will only seek this benefit after other basic needs are met.

Seven Causes of Human Action

Aristotle stated there are seven reasons why people do things. The most basic is chance, as some things tend to just happen. Another is nature, as a natural fit with customers sometimes occurs. People buy things out of compulsion, habit, passion, and desire. Finally, some customers approach a business using reason. Therefore, a brand must appeal to at least one of these causes, as they make up all possibilities regarding why a customer is doing something. People who use passion when deciding on purchases will likely relate to brands that embody passion.

Proper Treatment

A person’s loyalty to one particular brand also relates to his or her previous experiences with the company. Approximately 70% of customers are willing to abandon a business immediately upon receiving poor customer service on the phone. In addition, a single upset customer, on average, will tell 26 other people about the negative experience. Brand loyalty begins with customer satisfaction, as people are less likely to be loyal if they have experienced or heard of bad service.

Brand Personality

Brand loyalty is developed by building a personality. There are five personality traits to incorporate into a brand: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and toughness. Customers relate to these items and, depending on your products or services, self-identify with the brand. For example, when conveying a sense of sincerity in your brand, individuals attracted to a sincere company are more likely to remain customers.

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