5 types of customers and how to influence them

Not all customers are the same. To build strong relationships, you must understand how different types of customers behave. In this article, we’ll go through the different customer types and uncover how to encourage loyalty from each group.

“Convenience loyalty” customers

Convenience loyalty customers
“Convenience loyalty” customers

Convenience loyalty refers to customers who choose your brand only because it’s the easier choice. This usually happens when your brand or business is located near them at the time they want to purchase. 


Examples of convenience loyalty customers include those who visit a fuel station because it’s located near their home, or those who buy whatever brands are available in their local store. 


When customers are driven by convenience, brands must offer them a reason to make the extra effort. How do you convince a customer to drive the extra mile to visit a different store?


You need to build emotional loyalty.


Emotionally-loyal customers will seek out your brand even when it’s not convenient. 


More and more businesses are now offering rewards to incentivise this type of customer. Rewards and loyalty programs encourage customers to choose you because you offer a more valuable experience - one that makes that extra effort well worthwhile. 


It’s especially important to offer valuable, personalised rewards. Over time, convenience customers convert into emotionally loyal customers because they are rewarded for choosing your brand…

“Loyalty program” customers

Loyalty Program Customers
Loyalty Program Customers

This group of customers choose a brand because they like the loyalty program. 


Examples of ‘loyalty program’ customers are those who collect points or miles from airlines, hotels, or credit cards, or those who revisit a specific coffee shop so they can build up points and get free drinks. 


Whilst this type of customer is generally considered to be engaged and loyal, there is a risk that they could switch brands if they find a better loyalty program on offer. 


According to a survey by Accenture, 77% of consumers participate in loyalty programs, but a huge 65% of them switch brands when they encounter a poor rewards program. That’s why you need to make sure your loyalty offering is the best on the market. 


A strong and effective loyalty program offers personalised rewards based on customer preferences, offers a frictionless UX, and includes features such as gamification, which helps programs stand out from the competition. 

“Low-price loyalty” customers

Low Price Loyalty Customers
Low-price loyalty customers

Low-price loyalty refers to customers who look for the cheapest prices. These are the least loyal type of customers, as they will quickly switch between brands.


According to a survey by McKinsey, 25% of consumers switch brands due to price, and 48% of consumers say that price is the most important factor when choosing a brand. 


Examples of low-price loyalty customers include those who change their weekly grocery shops to whichever supermarket has the lowest prices or best deals on offer that week. 


During the cost of living crisis, there is a rise in consumers who fit into the “low-price loyalty” category, as more people are being forced to stretch their budgets.


To address the problem of low-price loyalty customers, brands need to showcase the value they bring beyond pricing.


This could include things like customer experience, brand values, or rewards. 


For example, a brand could focus on creating a seamless shopping experience, provide exceptional customer service, or showcase its sustainability efforts to attract environmentally conscious consumers. 

Loyalty programs can also make a huge impact here. If you can offer your customers rewards such as cashback on their shopping, they will be more likely to choose you because you are helping them stretch their budgets. Monetary rewards or discounts are highly appealing to low-price loyalty customers.


“Habitual loyalty” customers

Habitual Loyalty customers
Habitual Loyalty Customers

Habitual loyalty refers to customers who are creatures of habit, and don’t like trying new brands.


According to a survey by Nielsen, 46% of consumers say they are loyal to a brand they always buy, and 37% say they are loyal to the brands they grew up with. 

Examples of habitually loyal consumers are those who always buy a specific brand of cleaning products - even though most cleaning products on the market do the same job. 


Habitually loyal customers can be a challenge for brands to influence, especially when dealing with customers who have been buying the same products for years or even decades. These customers are often very comfortable with their current brand and have little incentive to try something new.


However, with the right approach, brands can influence customers to try something different. For example, a brand might offer a free sample (or free trial) to encourage customers to test their product. This is particularly effective when the brand can highlight a unique feature or benefit of their product that the customer may not have been aware of previously. 

Another approach is to leverage social proof to encourage customers to try something different. When a customer sees that their friends, family or community are switching to a new brand and enjoying it, they are more willing to give it a try themselves. Brands can use referrals to their advantage and encourage customers to share their positive experiences with others.

“Emotional loyalty” customers

Emotional loyalty customers
Emotional Loyalty Customers

Customers that are emotionally loyal are the gold standard for businesses. These customers will choose your product or service even when it’s not the cheapest or most convenient option available. 


One way to build emotionally loyal customers is to showcase what your brand stands for. Customers are more likely to feel emotionally connected to a brand that shares their beliefs and values.


For example, outdoor clothing company Patagonia has built a strong emotional connection with its customers by championing environmental causes and using sustainable materials in their products. By taking a stand on important issues and integrating eco values into their brand story, Patagonia has created a community of customers that feel proud to support them. 


Another way to build emotional loyalty in your brand is by creating a memorable and engaging customer experience. Customers are more likely to become emotionally attached to a brand when they have consistent positive and memorable experiences with it. 


For example, tech brand Apple has built a huge audience of emotionally loyal customers by going above and beyond what customers might expect.


Apple offers a range of free workshops and training sessions to help customers get the most out of their devices and their Genius Bar provides face-to-face technical support and repairs.


But it’s not just the physical shopping experience where Apple excels. They have built an exceptional customer service experience, such as their approach to handling warranty claims. Apple provides on-the-spot replacements in-store or ships out replacement devices to customers on the same day. This quick and painless process helps turns a frustrating situation into a positive one. Apple’s attention to every detail of the customer experience has contributed to them building a devoted following of emotionally loyal customers.


Every brand should strive for emotionally loyal customers.


It’s this type of loyalty that creates strong relationships between customers and brands. These relationships make customers choose you over your competitors. 


There are many things brands can do to create emotionally loyal customers, such as providing an exceptional customer experience, rewarding loyalty, and showcasing brand values. 


Don’t just settle for satisfied customers - aim for emotional loyalty and watch your brand thrive. With the right strategies in place, any brand can create loyal customers who will not only stick around but will also become passionate ambassadors for you.


Which group do your customers currently belong to? 


If you’re looking for a bespoke loyalty solution, you’re in the right place! Speak to one of our experts. 

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Helen Walker

Helen Walker

Senior Content Marketing Executive

Helen is our Senior Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...

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Loyalty Programs
Customer Loyalty
Customer Retention
Consumer Trends
Customer Satisfaction
Emotional Loyalty