Brand Loyalty & Me
17 October 2022 • 5 min read
How can food brands build Gen Z consumer loyalty in a world where it often seems in short supply? To explore the issue, we spoke to a set of GEN Z consumers we know very well: our own ANDIs. Here, Hailey Pun, Product Developer, Club Turing and Dan Baumann, Digital Consultant give us their personal take on what food brand loyalty is, how to build it and how to retain it.
This is the first in our AND Voices series, a wide-ranging programme of interviews and articles in which ANDis share their insights, experiences and opinions about digital-related topics and the way they impact their world.
AND: How would you describe customer loyalty? What does loyalty look and feel like?
Hailey: Customer loyalty is about maintaining a good relationship between the customer and the brand, so that the customer will repeatedly return to the business due to positive experiences in the past with the brand.
Dan: It’s a mutually beneficial relationship between two parties. Customers are effectively ‘voting’ with their purchasing decisions because they feel like they are getting value from them. Loyalty is felt and sustained when the ‘contract’ between the two parties is upheld.
AND: Which 3 brands do you feel greatest loyalty towards? Why?
- McDonalds - Affordable, consistent and convenient
- Pret A Manger – As above, also they don’t charge you for using dairy alternatives when buying coffee - a nice gesture
- Padella - Quality of food and lack of substitutes at price point
- Joe & the Juice – Local to me, with stores serving great juices that provide real health benefits. I’ve also gained many discounts and free drinks through their loyalty programme, and I really enjoy their branding.
- Pret A Manger - I regularly pick up the same items on my way to work as there’s always one nearby in Central London.
- Farmer J - Serves fresh, delicious and healthy food and is available on Deliveroo, which makes me want to get food from them regularly as takeaway.
AND: How do the following elements affect your loyalty? Do they make you more or less loyal? Why?
- Price - The quality of the product matters more to me. I don’t mind paying a little more knowing I will be paying for something at a good quality. Of course in an ideal word, if I’m paying less for something that is just as good quality then that will be preferred.
- Discounts and deals - This will make me more loyal especially if I’m getting a discount on a product that is of good quality but might be rather expensive.
- Quality of food – I’ll be more loyal if the quality is good.
- Ease/speed of ordering – I’ll be more loyal if I can get the product easier/faster.
- The way the brand treats its staff – This might reflect on the way they treat their customers, so the better they treat their staff, the more loyal I will be.
- Commitment to sustainability – I’ll be more loyal if the brand is actively doing this, as it shows they care.
- Having an opinion on global issues - Depends whether their view is aligned to mine. If so, then I will be more loyal.
- Price - A lot! If the product changes and gives me more value then it may be justified.
- Discounts and deals - Don’t really care.
- Quality of food - Most important. When it deviates from the average on a consistent basis, my loyalty will decrease.
- Ease/speed of ordering - Only relevant when it deviates from average. If there were more ways to get things [UberEATS etc] it would probably increase my loyalty because it’s more convenient.
- The way the brand treats its staff - Would decrease my loyalty if staff are treated poorly because I wouldn’t want leadership to profit from it.
- Commitment to sustainability - If being more sustainable was a justification for higher prices then I would support this.
- Having an opinion on global issues - Companies leaving Russia quickly following the Ukraine war will have increased my loyalty to them.
AND: Does the ability to get food from a brand via Deliveroo/UberEATS etc affect your loyalty towards it? How?
Dan: Yes, however, I would not order if the brand increased prices too much on Deliveroo/UberEATS.
Hailey: Yes, it means there are more platforms to access the brand, so if I particularly liked a brand and they don’t have a location nearby, I can still enjoy the brand in the comfort of my own home.
AND: What 3 things could a brand do to increase its chances of you feeling loyalty towards it?
- Keep prices in line with general inflation
- Keep delivering consistent products
- Make it easier for me to obtain their product
- Have promotions/discounts
- Offer rewards
- Have an accessible/aesthetically pleasing app
AND: What’s the best way for a brand to keep in touch?
Hailey: Through their app
Dan: I prefer to not be kept in touch, but a personalised email is probably the least annoying
AND: How often do you want to hear from a brand? What’s the ideal frequency to keep you feeling loyal?
Dan: I don’t think my loyalty is tied to frequency of communication. Too many messages is bad/annoying
Hailey: Bi-weekly is more than enough. Any more than this frequency begins to feel annoying and noisy
AND: Can you think of one specific example of something a brand has done that has made you feel more loyal towards it? What was it and how did it affect you?
Hailey: Joe & the Juice has a really good app where it tracks your loyalty points rather than giving you a card (which often I may lose). Each time I purchase something from them, it reminds me how close I am to the next tier. They also allow users to order in advance so that by the time you reach the store, the juice you ordered is ready to be picked up. In addition to this, they also have rewarded many free juices in the past, and even gifts for when I referred a friend to download their application. The fast service, easy to use application and gratitude from the rewards I received from them is why I remain loyal to them.
AND: What 3 things make you feel less loyal towards a brand?
- If brands have opposite views of global/political issues
- If they operate in an unethical way (e.g. testing on animals)
- Bad quality products
- Decrease in quality against my expectations
- Drastic increase in prices
- Ease of obtaining something e.g. no longer on Deliveroo, closed shops
Can you think of an example of a brand that has ‘pushed you away’? How did it do this? How did it affect you?
Hailey: Constant notifications that fill my inbox. This is really annoying and it only resulted in me unsubscribing from the mailing list and subsequently forgetting all about the brand.
From Gousto to Zizzi to Subway, AND Digital has helped leading food brands build greater loyalty among their consumers. To find out more about how we could help you, please visit our content hub here.