Brand loyalty declines as economy suffers amid pandemic
19 January 2021

Originally published on Campaign US by Mariah Cooper

Job losses and supply chain disruptions contributed to the decline, according to an Omnicom Media Group study.

Brand loyalty took a hit in 2020 as consumers, struggling with job losses and a disrupted supply chain, went with alternative options.

Among U.S. consumers, brand loyalty dropped from 65% in March to 49% in November, according to a study from Omnicom Media Group. The study, conducted across 13 waves of online research from March to December, surveyed up to 1,100 people between the ages of 18 to 72. Ethnicity, regional and household income breakdowns of the group reflected the U.S. Census.

Brand loyalty eroded mostly in response to devastating job losses in the U.S., as people struggling with income loss defected to cheaper products, said Shreya Kushari, chief client officer at OMD. Others switched brands when the products they wanted weren’t immediately available due to logistical challenges.

But consumers are more optimistic about 2021. Just 42% feel that the economy is weak, down from 64% in March. Half of those surveyed plan to pull the trigger on big-ticket purchases they put off in 2020, such as a car, a home or a vacation, likely this spring or summer.

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“It’s tied to the optimism that people are feeling in general about the economy,” Kushari said. “Whether it is the vaccine news, whether it is just a sense that this too shall end.”

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