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43 Trademark Rep. 251 (1953)
Brand Loyalty - Fact of Fiction

handle is hein.journals/thetmr43 and id is 299 raw text is: BRAND LOYALTY - FACT OR FICTION*
By Dr. George H. Brown**
One of the most intriguing of all marketing questions revolves
around brand loyalty. Do customers purchase a favorite brand
time after time or do they shop around at random? Do the type of
merchandise involved and the relative strength of brands have an
important influence? How many customers stay with a single
brand of a frequently purchased item for a considerable period of
time? Just what is a brand loyal customer? Can a brand de-
velop enough consumer loyalty so that it can get a sizable share
of the market from a relatively small group of steady purchasers,
or must it make occasional sales to a large proportion of the
families in the market?
Through the cooperation of the Chicago Tribune, ADvERTISING
AGE has sponsored some basic research into the problems of brand
loyalty at the University of Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has
been operating a consumer purchase panel covering a wide variety
of grocery and drug items for four years.
The panel is a diary operation, perhaps the most extensive
conducted on a local or regional basis by any private organization.
It shows not only which items are purchased by the families in
the panel, but the sequence of purchase. Thus, if a family makes
ten purchases of coffee in a month, the panel data shows not only
the total purchases and the brands bought, but whether Brand A,
accounting for five of the ten purchases, was bought five con-
secutive times and then abandoned, or whether the five purchases
of that brand were interspersed with purchases of one or more
other brands.
The Tribune panel data used in the study covered the calendar
year 1951. Although 610 families in the panel kept a complete
record of their purchases for that year, only the purchases of 100
buyers of a particular product class were analyzed in detail. For
example, 516 out of the 610 families bought margarine during the
year 1951. To secure 100 families for the purchase profile,
*Reprinted by permission from the January 26, 1953 issue of ADVERTISING
AGE. Copyright 1953 by Advertising Publications Inc.
*Professor of Marketing, the School of Business, University of Chicago; National
director and past president of the American Marketing Association.

Vol. 43 T. M. R.



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