Why luxury buyers stay with a brand—and why they leave for another luxury brand: study
Primary drivers of loyalty differed by brand
Loyalty Differences by Gender and Age
According to the 2012 New Luxury Vehicle Loyalty Study, conducted by Polk and AutoTrader.com (automotive marketplace and consumer information sources), brand affinity and quality/reliability are among the top reasons luxury buyers stay with their brand. Polk analyzed patterns for buyers of six core luxury brands—Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz based on a consumer study delving into the reasons for a buyer’s loyalty, conquest or defection. The survey was completed with a total of 1,485 U.S. luxury buyers from September 2011 to November 2011 and provides manufacturers and dealers with in-depth insight into the luxury segment, allowing them to better understand luxury automotive consumers and the reasons for their brand loyalty or defection decisions.
A luxury loyalist is defined as a luxury new vehicle buyer/household that purchases a replacement vehicle or an additional vehicle from the same luxury brand that they already own. When loyalists were questioned about why they stayed loyal to a brand, the top five reasons were: Brand Affinity (cited by 44 percent), Quality/Reliability (cited by 33 percent), Driving Performance (cited by 24 percent), Price/Finance/Value (cited by 16 percent), Styling/Design (cited by 16 percent).
These key insights are important because they highlight the strengths of individual brands with their audiences and shed light on where each brand can improve to increase loyalty or combat defection.
* Brand affinity ranks significantly higher among Cadillac loyalists than any other luxury brand.
* Quality/reliability is cited more often by Mercedes-Benz and Acura loyalists as a reason for returning to that brand.
* BMW loyalists are more apt to identify driving performance as a reason for their return purchase than other luxury owners.
* Price ranks much higher as a reason for Acura owner loyalty compared to the other luxury brands in the study.
* Audi loyalists rank styling and design significantly higher than other brand loyalists as a reason to stay.
* Acura is the only brand where technology and innovation rank as a “Top Five” reason to stay loyal to the brand.
* Dealership loyalty emerges as a “Top Five” reason for brand loyalty among Lexus and Mercedes-Benz owners.
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