This wiki will be talking about Brand Loyalty. It will give the reader an insight into the various theories and definitions that have been created for brand loyalty. The second part of this wiki will demonstrate some of the new trends that have emerged in brand loyalty over the past 10-15 years and how that has affected it.

What is Brand Loyalty?
Brand loyalty has been around for many years and has become more important for many businesses and industries.
consumer-brand-loyalty1.jpgOliver (1999, p.34) has defined this area of marketing as “a deeply held commitment to re-buy or re-patronize a preferred product or service consistently in the future, thereby causing repetitive same brand or same brand set purchasing”. This essentially means that consumers have a strong relationship with a brand and are more likely to keep purchasing their goods or service repeatedly instead of a brands competitor (Brassington, 2013). Aaker (1991) has expressed the fact that brand loyalty has been an essential element in evaluating how valuable a brand can be as it’s been a big part of generating a healthy profit for many companies. There are many different ways of increasing loyalty amongst a brand and has become a much focused activity for many businesses marketing departments. These will be explained later on in the wiki.

What is Brand Loyalty?( Add by Wendy )

Brand loyalty plays a significant role in developing and maintaining the goal of marketing. Brand loyalty is always described the intension or behavior to repurchase a particular brand continently (Singh & Pattanayak, 2014). Therefore, brand loyalty considerably relies on trust, quality of the products and after-sales services.

Brand Loyalty Theory
There is a brand loyalty theory that has been constructed by Sheth (1974). He believes that brand loyalty is multi-dimensional; more specifically, three dimensions, emotive tendencies, evaluative tendencies and behavioural tendencies.
Emotive tendency relates to the emotional response to a brand that a consumer feels. This includes whether the consumer likes or dislikes the brand based on their own personal experiences they’ve had involving these brands. These emotional tendencies also can come from various forms of informational services for example the news or social media sites. Examples of emotional tendencies are stereotypes that have been created by the brands to reach a certain type of customer, or brand imageries which the consumer creates in their head. Brand imageries are what the consumer imagines when they hear or see the brand, typically the first thing that comes into their head (Ibid).

Evaluative tendency refers to the evaluation of the brand and what makes it a positive brand in the consumer’s eyes. As an example, when thinking about Apple, consumers will think about technology, music, phones, innovation and customer service. They think about the positive parts of the brand and once the company has found what consumers value most about their brand they can communicate this more and focus their advertising in this way. These evaluative tendencies, like the emotional tendencies can be learned from consumers past experiences with the brand and through information services.

Behavioural tendencies are the third and final dimension of brand loyalty and refers to the response of the consumer to a brand. This is the physical reaction to the brand. A physical reaction can include buying the product, picking it up from a shelf and also consuming it. The behavioural tendency is the one that brands are essentially trying to achieve as it is more likely to end in a sale.

These are the original dimensions of brand loyalty that Katz (1960) initially theorized but Sheth (1974) believed there were more dimensions that could be created from the main three. He believed that these dimensions can be combined and create an additional four:
  • Behavioural-evaluative brand loyalty refers to having a physical response to a brand such as purchasing it or picking it up and having a well thought reason to pick it up or buy it.
  • Behavioural-emotive brand loyalty refers to the physical response to the brand along with having an emotional connection which can relate to the past experiences with it.
  • Behavioural-evaluative-emotive brand loyalty is where all three previously mentioned dimensions come together and the consumer makes an emotional and evaluative decision based on the brand advertised.
  • Emotive-evaluative brand loyalty refers to having expressed a desire to buy a product or service but is unable to due to certain restrictions. This can either be to financial issues or from simply not being able to find the product or service (Ibid).

As these theories have been created in the 1960s and 70s it can be understandable that these various dimensions would now be less likely, as businesses have changed so much. One would have to agree with this but there is still a relevance as consumer’s are more likely to have an emotional response to brands due to the amount of interactions consumers have with them every day, whether it be through social media or physical interaction with the product.

Kotler (2013) has thought of a theory which best describes various types of brand loyalists from the very loyal to the not so loyal. It is said that a brand’s heavy users are likely to be more important to the brand as they are a constant revenue stream due to repurchases. The 4 different loyalists are hard core loyalists, soft core loyalists, shifting loyalists and switchers. Hard core loyalists are ones who constantly use the same brand and go to no one else. An example of this could be a consumer who only bus Heinz ketchup because that is a brand they have known all their lives and only associate with ketchup and table sauces. Soft core loyalists are consumers who are loyal to a number of different brands and usually buy only from those brands. Shifting loyalists are consumers who are constantly shifting from brand to brand, they have no ties to anyone. The final one is a switcher who moves freely from one brand to another without any loyalty. These are usually consumers who are looking for the right deal all the time without acknowledging the brand and its values. An example of this could be a supermarket customer. They are constantly interested in grabbing a bargain and compare prices to other stores and are keen to switch stores if prices are lower somewhere else. This has been happening lately with the rise in popularity of discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl; consumers have started shopping there and this has hit the larger supermarkets such as Tesco’s profits.

This gives a simpler picture of who brands would be keen to target with their products than Sheth’s (1974) theory. For one thing it is a theory that has been created much more recently in 2010 so it is more likely to be relevant in today’s business world. The different types of loyalists seem to fit any brands consumers in any industry. From this also you are able to profile yourself as a consumer and see what type of consumer you are.

‘Why is it important for companies to have loyal customers?’ (Change from G.S)

NT 1.jpg

By having customer’s loyalty it is presented to be ‘a deeply held commitment to re-buy or repurchase a preferred product/service brand consistently in the future’ (Singh and Pattanayak, 2014) which in turn can provide many advantages for a current organisation.

In its most simple terms ‘The longer a company keeps a customer, the more money it stands to make’ (Wieseke et al, 2014) cited in (Reichheld and Sasser, 1990). Therefor the more customers in which a company can keep for a substantial period of time the more money they can obtain. Looking into this with more detail Okonkwo (2007) presents how if a company has loyal customers they purchase frequently and show less sensitivity to the price of a product or service. So a key advantage of this is a financial one with both Wieseke et al (2014) and Okonkwo (2007) showing how having a loyal customer base will give an organisation a frequent flow of customers who buy more at a higher price.

By keeping customers loyal it as well dismisses the perceived disadvantages of getting new customers to shop with you. Lancaster and Reynolds suggest that ‘new customers cost more money to persuade to switch suppliers’ (2004: 397). The point that Lancaster and Reynolds (2004) present are due to a number of reasons. The extra costs of getting new customers can come in the form of advertising and marketing as well as special price deals that are presented for new customers. Take Waitrose for example, when you spend 50 pound or more on your first 5 online shops you get 10 off your next shop. By producing this deal Waitrose would of have to spend money on advertising as well as subsidise people shopping by giving them money off their order.

Another view point shows how customer loyalty is most effective through small businesses. In the video presented above it suggests 3 key advantages it will bring. The first being it becomes a lot easier to retain customers; the second that retained customers will give positive referrals about a business presenting cost effective marketing and he third advantage the clip shows again provides cost effective marketing a reasonably new trend around the social media work. By loyal customers posting positive feedback on forums vast amount of potential customers will see this creating a free marketing tool which in turn will make people aware of the business.

It is very clear that customer loyalty is a tool which can bring great advantages to a business but it can also be misconceived. Banes and Fill have shown that loyalty may indeed ‘be nothing more than pure convenience or habit’ (2014: 507). This could be presented as a consumer shopping at a food shop everyday being perceived to be a very loyal customer but is only due to the location in comparison to their residence.

New trends in Brand Loyalty
This part of the wiki will now discuss the recent trends in brand loyalty that have been developed by companies in the past 10-15 years. The theories that have been created for brand loyalty have been around for years, therefore to get a real picture of how brand loyalty is used in contemporary business it is best to look at the methods that businesses use in order to achieve this. This section will give examples of real ways in which companies try and improve the loyalty consumers have towards their brands, and discuss whether or not they are successful in doing so.

Loyalty cards
Loyalty cards are a big part of bringing in regular customers at various retail and service stores. They have gradually become more popular with large high street businesses, as one company introduces a loyalty card, it then causes a ripple across the industry and more and more of its competitors choose to introduce their own form of card to keep up. These loyalty cards usually give the consumer a certain amount of points depending on the amount spent in store or online and then give the consumer an opportunity to tesco-clubcard-001.jpgspend a small fraction of that on other items they sell. There is a huge benefit to businesses who decide to use these cards as they have access to vast amounts of data about their consumers, from what they are buying to where they buy. This not only useful marketing information but also valuable supply chain information as stock levels can be accurately worked out for different stores based each customer’s shopping lists.

The real benefit to consumers using these cards once worked out appear to be very small. When analysing the Superdrug loyalty card, it gives you 1 point for every pound you spend in store and every 100 points you earn makes £1 on your card to spend later (Superdrug, 2015). However, a customer cannot spend the points singularly as they can only be spent in blocks of pounds and restricts the user from using an odd number of points. This means that the consumer has to spend around £100 in-store and online to be able to earn £1 on their card. Is this really worth spending all that money just to earn £1 back? Many people would feel like this is not really worth it, especially if they don’t shop regularly at this store.

I think it is safe to say that in the earlier years of loyalty cards there was a much higher trend towards brand loyalty if a consumer decided to invest in one. This is because there were less of them around as the technology was rather new and expensive to retailers. Companies like Tesco were more likely to benefit when they first arrived as they were one of the only companies who could afford a system like the ‘Clubcard’. Now that a lot of other supermarkets have started to introduce them the playing field has levelled and consumers have become more like shifters (Kotler, 2013). The Tesco ‘Clubcard’ is the most popular loyalty card now with almost three quarters (73%) of adults now owning one (Mintel, 2014). From this statistic it is still very difficult to see if these adults with ‘Clubcards’ only shop in Tesco supermarkets for their groceries and whether they have other supermarket loyalty cards.

According to Mintel (2014) over 90% of 2000 age 16+ internet users were part of at least one loyalty scheme. This proves that these are a very popular trend in marketing for retailers and shows how many retailers have decided to do the same as others in order to be competitive with each other. The amount of loyalty cards have almost given the consumer a reason not to be loyal as they have so much more freedom to shop where they want by being offered various deals based on what they have previously bought. Loyalty appears to be a difficult thing to measure as there are so many ways to purchase a product now with the introduction of online purchasing.

Advertising effect( By Wendy)


For many suppliers, Advertising has played a significant effect on improving brand loyalty of products, which can attract more consumers at the same time persistently (Janda et al. 2011).


Advantages of brand loyalty ( Add by Wendy)

Firstly, It is important to note that advertising tends to be designed in a unique way, which can encourage many consumers to buy their new products. At the same time, for customers, it will be also beneficial to improve brand loyalty of the relevant products (Morley, 2013).

Secondly, for most of the customers, advertising effect range from creating an awareness of the product or service to influencing a buying decision. Advertising can create a shift in thinking by consumers, which may take different forms (Johnson, 2011).

Thirdly, for marketing, Sara & Micael (2015) demonstrate that advertising effect can be regarded as the most important tool of products and exhibitions. On the other hand, long-term expense on advertising tends to be profitable, which can make many customers know new development of brands. It will also increase number of the relevant customers, which can be seen as one of the rapidest ways to improve brand loyalty.

Case Study 1 Burberry and advertising effect ( By Wendy )

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According to Ashton (2014), as a luxury fashion industry, Burberry has established an excellent brand loyalty among the public. Firstly, Burberry was the first luxurious brand to set up their own advertising pages about the products on Facebook, which can have an impressive visibility among their fans.

Ashton (2014) also demonstrates that twitter also has played a considerable role in advertising marketing of Burberry. In 2013, it was reported that the official page of Burberry always transmits many fashionable products via Twitter, which can improve brand popularity all over the world. On the other hand, spreading new products through twitter will also improve consumers’ brand loyalty currently. That means, more and more consumers will regard Burberry as their first choice.

Firstly, to begin with internal brand loyalty, top management team should educate their employees as soon as possible. At the same time, the employees not only trust their own brand promises, but also believe that top management team has an ability of advocating business strategies (Kaye, 2014).

Secondly, Kaye (2014) states that developing brand messages and brand experiences is persistently necessary. That will be helpful to create consumer perceptions about related brands as well as consumer experiences.

Social Media
Since the creation of various social mediums such as Facebook and twitter, many brands have been presented on these services. Social media allows brands to communicate in a much easier way than has been possible before as they can directly advertise their goods and services to a targeted sample of consumers. The way this works is that the companies set up either a Facebook or twitter page that invites anyone to like (on Facebook) or follow (on twitter). These companies can then see how many loyal customers or interested customers they have, and can target offers and new products to them in return.

Social media is a new way for consumers and businesses to interact, it is much more personal than ever before. It doesn’t just improve brand loyalty but it can improve trust between the 2 parties and sales for the company the brand belongs to (DeMers, 2013). In a study by Erdoğmuş (2012), He found
that brand loyalty was positively affected by 4 things. The first is introducing various campaigns that consumers can gain an advantage from. As mentioned previously, consumers can be offered a product on a social media page and may not be offered it anywhere else. The second is that the social media page offers relevant and up to date content that the consumer will be interested in. The third is that the page offers popular content that is on trend and that the business knows their consumers will like. The final thing is having your social media page on many different platforms so that more consumers are able to view it and achieve a far greater reach as a result (Ibid).
There are also many ways that companies can analyse their social presence and their interactions with consumers. Through Twitter, companies can use an analytics site to see how consumers have interacted with their twitter page (Twitter, 2015). From this, they can see who has viewed their tweets, how many engagements they have had (anything from retweets, replies or favourites) and who has decided to unfollow and follow them. A combination of these tools would be able to see cause and effect. For example, if a brand were to tweet a reveal of a new product line, it would be able to match the date of the tweet and see how many followers they have gained since tweeting this.

Another tool that companies can use to monitor their social media presence is through the use of Sprout Social. This allows companies to see who has been mentioning their brands on any social medium (Sprout Social, 2015). What makes this tool different from others is that it can direct any customer inquiries to the team member who’s department it relates to using a feature called ‘Assign Tasks’ (DeMers, 2013). This allows the consumer and business to have a greater understanding with each other because the respondent has a deeper knowledge of the consumer’s inquiry and as a result increase brand loyalty. When it comes to companies having a presence on social media there is always a risk of it going wrong. When having a Facebook or twitter page it gives consumers the opportunity to make public complaints at the risk of other consumers seeing this, thus having a negative effect on brand loyalty.

On the right is a short video about how social media can impact brand loyalty

Celebrity Endorsements
Celebrity endorsements are campaigns where brands have included the image of a celebrity who they believe is a perfect fit for the values of the brand. This isn’t a recent trend and has been around for years but more brands have been likely to bring in a celebrity to increase loyalty to their brand. Designer fashion brands tend to be using this method of brand loyalty more than any other brand recently (Mintel, 2013). This approach to marketing is about creating an emotional response from the consumer and as a
brand loyalty bieber.jpg
result, purchase what is being offered to them. The consumer has to like the person who is displaying the image of the brand, if this is not the case then they are less likely to engage with the brand. Sharma (2013) believes that if celebrity endorsements and a brand’s advertising strategy is blended together in the right way with the strengths of the brand and the celebrity’s qualities then it is likely to be worth the high cost that the endorsement possesses.

One example of a very well-known celebrity endorsement is Nike and their partnership with Golfer, Tiger Woods. He endorses the golfing side of Nike’s brand and has been doing so since 2000. A study into this by Chung (2013) found that between the years 2000 and 2010, the profit of Nike’s golf balls increased by $103m mostly due to the Tiger Woods endorsement. However, in 2009, the Tiger Woods scandal began to emerge in the media, this involved him cheating on his wife multiple times. This scandal affected sales of Nike golf balls as they fell by £1.7m. Although, it is not clear just how much of a direct effect this scandal had on the sales of golf balls, it shows that there is a correlation between the time of the scandal breaking into the media and sales falling. Even after the scandal broke out, Nike still decided to keep Woods as a key endorser of their golfing products, this is because the contract he was on was deemed too lucrative to terminate (Schimmelpfennig, 2013).

Justin Bieber has recently joined with Calvin Klein and posed in a photo shoot advertising their famous boxer shorts and jeans. As a result of Justin Bieber posting these pictures on twitter and Facebook, it has led to Calvin Klein adding 3.6 million followers to their social media sites (Strugatz, 2015). This is a fantastic example of brand loyalty and how social media and celebrity endorsements can be combined to create an even bigger customer base and a foundation for future brand loyalty. The picture was also given a hashtag #mycalvins and had been mentioned by 1.6 million people in the first 48 hours of the first post on twitter, which was mentioned five times more than the famous, Kim Kardashian #breaktheinternet photo shoot hashtag (Ibid).

On the right is a short video providing examples of some successful and
unsuccessful celebrity endorsement campaigns

Advantages of Brand Loyalty.

As mentioned previously, brand loyalty influences a large amount of consumer perceptions around the product. It leads to creating purchase intentions and increased loyalty, through word of mouth and positive feedback, consumers introduce new people to the brand (Japutra et al., 2014:252). In terms of an organisational perspective businesses are more likely to want to build long-term relationships with suppliers, as changing suppliers may lead to unwelcome problems in all aspects of the business (De Chernatony and McDonald, 2003:164).

Another advantage brand loyalty brings to a business is product longevity and possible brand extension (Harvanto et al., 2014: 759). Businesses are now realising that consumers create bonds with specific brands or products. As well as acknowledging that consumers often do not change the store they shop in when there is a strong incentive to stay with a store, such as the previously mentioned loyalty card.

Brand trust is developed as a result of a consumer comparing their expectations with the overall performance of a brand, determining the possibility of purchasing the product again (Harvanto et al., 2014: 760). The trust of a brand is crucial for a business in order to create a long term relationship with a high number of customers. In order to acquire brand longevity, customers need to keep purchasing the product and generate positive feedback about the product.

Businesses can benefit from brand loyalty through brand extension; when consumers have positive opinions about a brand, they are more likely to try the new products which are launched by the same brand. Therefore, businesses can benefit from using an already established brand to launch new products into the market (Aaker et al., 1990:27). There is an already existent customer base for the brand as customers remain loyal.

Disadvantages of Attaining Brand Loyalty.

Furthermore, although creating brand loyalty successfully has been illustrated, there are also potential problems when striving to achieve brand loyalty. Firstly, consumers are generally afraid of what they do not understand (Newell, 2000:287). Particularly when providing personal information to large companies people are often wary of the power companies will have over them. This specifically relates to methods such as loyalty cards, when consumers need to provide information when applying for loyalty cards. It has been stated that information about customers and potential customers is the fuel for any business (Newell, 2000:288).

One type of brand loyalty which has been defined in a study by Japutra et al. (2014:253) is oppositional brand loyalty. They state that consumers become protective of a specific brand, and are therefore driven to become aggressive and hostile towards other brands. Not only this, but consumers openly state the brands they purposely avoid in favour of their preferred brand.
Extensive oppositional brand loyalty and the attachment consumers develop may create negative effects on a brand's image. Through intense support and admiration for a brand, consumers could become negative towards competing brands, as a way of showing their admiration for their favourite brand, and talk about them in a 'trashy way' (Japutra et al. 2014:252). An example of this is the clothing brand Burberry; Burberry faced problems when related to delinquents, this lead to damage to the reputation of being a luxury product (Japutra et al. 2014:253)

How to build brand loyalty? ( Add by Wendy )


Firstly, to begin with internal brand loyalty, top management team should educate their employees as soon as possible. At the same time, the employees not only trust their own brand promises, but also believe that top management team has an ability of advocating business strategies (Kaye, 2014).

Secondly, Kaye (2014) states that developing brand messages and brand experiences is persistently necessary. That will be helpful to create consumer perceptions about related brands as well as consumer experiences.

Brand loyalty seems to be becoming harder for brands to achieve. As mentioned previously, consumers have much more choice over what products they purchase and how they purchase them. The introduction of the internet has led to an increase in competition and opened the barriers for entry for most industries. As a result of this companies are spending more on advertising in order to gain loyal customers. Loyalty card systems and celebrity endorsements are likely to be the more expensive ways of increasing brand loyalty but they do seem to work, especially the latter. The celebrity culture is something that consumers crave and if their role model is wearing their favourite brand then they are likely to buy more of it as a result.

Brand Loyalty (Added by Jack)

After Sales Service is a service to customers who have brought a product and can sometimes be the determining factor in the acquisition of regular customers. These services can range from loyalty cards to free maintenance of their products for example guarantees. These after sales services look to promote the business in a helpful and reliable way so that customers can trust that the products or services that they purchase wont be a bad decision and in order to gain customer satisfaction and customer retention (MSG, 2014). Satisfying customers is very important in business as satisfied customers will often not only return but could also encourage others to come, with the use of word of mouth marketing through loyal customers, loyal customers often spread word of the best aspects of the company and will promote the company to other individuals which in effect generates more revenue through new customers. This after sales service allows the company to strengthen the relationship between the customer and the company this can be vital to encourage brand loyalty and gain customer retention.

Why Brand Loyalty Matters

Brand loyalty matters to businesses as having a large loyal customer base allows your business to take more risks and are able to survive possible environmental factors that may be involved such as macro and micro environmental issues for example their could be a recession and sales could fall but the customers that are loyal to the brand will keep purchasing specific businesses products and this is what might save the business throughout the recession or other environmental concerns that could arise .Brand Loyalty can increase the potential for long-term business success as you can rely on loyal customers repeat purchases and spreading compliments about the business to their friends. Brand loyalty can be an indicator of intangible value as well as being a quantifiable measurement of your brands success and can predict future performances (Gunelius, 2012).
The Toyota recalls of 2010 show how brand loyalty can help businesses survive environmental factors and continue to thrive afterwards due to Toyota having a loyal customer base that still believe in and trust Toyota to this day. Many business see a customer base a must have as its so vital to many businesses for example many pubs in the early months of the year January and February rely particularly on their ‘locals’ in order for them to scrap through the bad months, without these loyal customers many businesses wouldn’t be able to survive when things don’t exactly go as planned.


Gunelius, S. (2012). Building Brand Loyalty – Part 1: What Is Brand Loyalty and Why Your Brand Needs It. Available: Last accessed 21st Jan 2015.

MSG. (2014). After Sales Service / Customer Service. Available: Last accessed 12th December 2014.


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References ( Add by Wendy )

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