As you read, some consumers have an extended problem solving mindset, putting a great deal of effort into their purchase decisions. Others have a limited problem solving mindset, putting in little consideration because their purchase is trivial. Still, there is another way that consumers arrive at their purchase decisions and that is routinized response behavior or by habit.
These consumers don’t think about their purchase–not because it’s of low importance or trivial, but because they have already arrived at a conclusion about which product or brand will best meet their needs. They don’t need to dedicate more thought or consideration because their needs are being met (or exceeded). From a marketers perspective, this is ideal because the investments in marketing activity has paid off in the acquisition and retention of this customer, reflected in their on-going loyalty.
Customer loyalty results when a consumer has consistent, positive experiences with a product or brand or firm over time. That is, it is on-going and reflects the breadth of value in all interactions, including in exchange, use, and experience.
Specifically, does the product or brand or firm provide value equal to or greater than what I pay for it (value in exchange)? Is the toothpaste worth the $3.49 I pay for it or more to me? Does it provide value to me in the form of the benefits I seek, when I use it (value in use)? Does the toothpaste freshen breath, whiten teeth and protect against gingivitis? And, does it provide value to me in how I experience it, which includes how I shop for and obtain it (value in experience)? Can I easily find this toothpaste where I shop in the quantities I want? Thus, customer loyalty is the result of a firm delivering customer value in all forms, meeting and exceeding consumer expectations over time.