Are We Brand Loyal When We Buy Petrol?
This occurs when a customer purchases the same product from a particular manufacturer repeatedly over a period of time irrespective of the manufacturer’s competitor’s price, promotion or marketing pressure. It demonstrates the extent of faithfulness of the customer to a particular brand.
In purchasing products such as petrol in the UK, there are many factors that affect brand loyalty. These include loyalty points, price and convenience.
These are points accrued when buying a product or products from the same manufacturer or retailer. Over time, these points are converted into a redeemable voucher and then used to purchase an item from the same store. In the case of buying petrol, many motorists see it as a saving technique because in the future they would have enough points for a free tank of petrol if they keep purchasing from the same manufacturer.
In the UK, the Nectar Card is the largest loyalty program covering everyday shopping in stores, restaurants and petrol pumps (BP). It is estimated that over 50% of households in the UK have a Nectar card. Other brands of petrol such as Shell, Esso, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons all have their different loyalty programs. For shopping stores who have petrol brands, loyalty points are added to a customer’s storecards. (This way, customers can earn points while shopping and purchasing petrol on the same card for future use of any.)
The value of petrol determines to a great length to which customers will be loyal to the brand. As the income in the UK varies within different household, low income earners who are motorists will prefer to purchase cheaper brands rather than go for advantage factors of loyalty points, convenience or known brands. This category of people may drive a few extra miles or go out of their way to get to a petrol station with a few pence per litre cheaper than the one close to their workplace or home. This is mainly due to a perhaps, tight budget and they see the little extra saved weekly as enough to cater for another need. In the UK, the price at petrol pumps in most supermarkets such as Asda, is generally cheaper than that of worldwide known brands such as Shell.
Motorists who fall into this category are mainly middle to high-income earners. They calculate effort and time of going a longer distance to purchase cheap petrol versus the little difference in price of petrol in a service station just around the corner. Due to their busy daily schedule, they usually purchase a large amount to last weekly or bi-weekly. Convenience also affects purchase during winter season. In bad weather conditions, these customers might not mind buying for that little bit extra at a service station rather than risk driving further in snowy and slippery conditions.
Most supermarkets benefit a lot from this factor especially during weekends. As people go around doing their weekly shopping, buying their groceries and other home needed items from the same store, petrol can also be an item on this list.
So as you can see, brand loyalty can relate to a number of different criteria. Some customers buy petrol purely on price, some for convenience and some for value added benefits. Each customer has their own reason for why they choose a particular brand, so brand loyalty as we can see, can be put down to an individually thought-out reasoning.