Lund University, Sweden
Brand loyalty became a key concept in consumer research in the 1990s, having been a central aspect of consumer-level branding in marketing management research since the late 1960s. The traditional definition of brand loyalty is concerned with a consumer's repeat purchase of a certain branded product or service. As a rule, research on the concept also argues that the repeat purchase needs to be combined with a favorable attitude toward the brand. This definition is usually followed by further labeling of the research presented – whereby it is described as behavioral, or attitudinal. In other words, research on brand loyalty tends to focus either on the repeated repurchasing of the brand or on the consumer's attitude to the brand. The choice of methods in a consumer research setting varies, and is often of a qualitative orientation. Marketing management research on brand loyalty uses mainly quantitative methods. Noticeably, stores and brands make extensive use of so-called loyalty programs or loyalty cards to retain consumers.
Brand loyalty has gained international reputation as a meaningful branding concept largely because of its prominent role in the highly influential brand equity construct. Brand equity is often used to describe how the brand, in itself, adds value to a company. Consumer-based brand equity, in Aaker's (1991) seminal theory, consists of four components: brand loyalty, perceived ...