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Research says customers to abandon loyalty to stores

Recession has heralded the end of brand loyalty, with nearly two thirds of consumers less loyal now than they used to be. More than 40 per cent of consumers believe companies are unfair to customers.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Research says customers to abandon loyalty to stores

Recession has heralded the end of brand loyalty, with nearly two thirds of consumers less loyal now than they used to be. More than 40 per cent of consumers believe companies are unfair to customers.

According to information and analysis specialist Experian, in its latest Insight Report, keen pricing and genuine improvements in customer service will be essential for companies which want to win the fight for 'bounce-bac
k consumers' when the recession is over.

A large section of the UK population has radically rethought how, when and with whom it will spend its money, according to Experian. One element of this is to be far more demanding of commercial brands, it suggests. However, the new approach is not based entirely on price, and will take in complicated and scientific calculations of value.

“In the post-recession UK we are going to see the rise of the promiscuous, bounce-back consumer - one whose loyalty has to be won and re-won every day,” says Joe Staton, planning director of Experian-owned company The Future Foundation. “The biggest casualty will be brand monogamy as consumers demand higher levels of service than ever before, and drop brands we do not believe fully appreciate and reward their custom.”

He continues: “In the face of this intensification of price scrutiny and volatility, it is even more vital to remind consumers of the multiple value benefits of a brand or product and ensure companies deliver on price, rewarding loyalty and most of all, on service.”

Experian's research shows that more than half of consumers have started to use different shops because of poor or indifferent service. It also reveals that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of UK consumers are more likely to have shopped around for the best deal on a product during the last six months than was previously the case. A quarter are spending more time choosing products, and 80 per cent have become increasingly aware of the price of goods.

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