Brand loyalty is declining, according to a recent Deloitte survey of 4,047 respondents encompassing 28 product categories and more than 350 brands. This is the third straight year which has seen this trend in consumer choices and is likely the result of the recession. Many consumers are choosing cheaper private brands, which they believe are just as good as national brands. This trend will most likely continue to grow in 2014, as the majority of consumers do not plan on increasing spending. Only 27 percent say they will revert to national brands from private labels if and when the economy improves.
This study illustrates a huge shift in consumer trends, which could mean the death of certain brand-name, national retailers if they do not make necessary changes. Consumers are identifying less with brands and instead are focusing more on equal quality, yet cheaper prices. Affluent consumers are able to maintain their brand loyalty, but these consumers do not make up the majority, especially with the state of the economy. There has been a widening gap between affluent and lower-income households, causing companies to rethink their brand strategies.
Look out for these and other consumer trends in 2014 as consumers continue more frugal shopping behaviors and companies are forced to adjust to these critical changes.