The purpose of this study was to explore the various forms of brand loyalty, to understand the drivers of brand loyalty and disloyalty, and to determine within which product categories consumers were brand loyal or disloyal at the base of the pyramid (BoP) in South Africa. The study was exploratory, therefore a qualitative research design was adopted where individual face-to-face interviews were conducted with 18 low income consumers in Living Standard Measure (LSM) 2 to 4, residing in urban Gauteng.
The findings show that low income consumers are increasingly brand conscious with proven access to media and therefore marketing messages. Primary brand loyalty drivers at the BoP include perceived quality, durability, brand experience, brand trust and affordability, while in their absence consumers are disloyal. Affordability is important to these consumers, but they also value these other aspects of brands, making them discerning and value driven. Consumers are loyal to those brands that are relevant to them at an acceptable price value proposition. Consumers spend more of their money on consumables than durables and branded services. Brand loyalty is minimal across product categories; consumers seek variety and are prone to sales promotions, making them multiple brand users.