For every business, customer loyalty is very key. We all want and aim for those who patronise us to come back again and again and so we put our all into creating value, hoping that it will keep them glued.
Creating value is important but that is not all that matters, we also have to understand consumer behaviour. Consumer behaviour to a large extent explains why some costumers stay and others go, despite the value added.
A number of factors that affect consumer behaviour includes: impulse, trends, needs, peer pressure, brand loyalty and the likes.
For the Nigerian fashion consumer, the choices and possibilities they have are endless and we cannot exactly put a finger on a type of behaviour common to all; but we can safely attempt to categorise consumers using Maslow’s theory on hierachy of needs, since the human behaviour is largely based on needs.
Here we go:
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSUMER
Affordability is the key word here and then comfort. This category of consumers have so much needs to satisfy and fashion is just one of them. For them, the economic situation bites hard and they can’t afford the luxury of choice, they buy what is necessary and their most pressing needs, that’s about it. They would rather buy a second hand dress because it is cheaper, than get a local tailor to make them a dress. Style is not at the top of their mind, affordability is. We can safely say from research that 40% of fashion consumers in Nigeria fall in this category.
THE SAFETY CONSUMER
This Consumer is one step ahead of the psychological buyer and is more fashion conscious. The typical safety buyers know what they want and go for it. If it is too expensive, they go for a cheaper alternative that will look decent enough. This purpose driven market accounts for about 30% of the Nigerian fashion consumers.
THE SOCIAL CONSUMER
This category of consumers have moved past buying for their basic needs. They are socially aware and care about their appearances. They are educated, exposed to several cultures around the world and follow fashion quite closely. For them, fashion is a statement to be made and they would be loyal to any brand that “gets them”. They make up about 20% of the Nigerian fashion consumers.
THE ESTEEM CONSUMER
The esteem consumer recognises quality and will never compromise on it. They have moved past being influenced by price, they prefer to create their own style. They will stand with a brand that stands for something and has a strong sense of identity because they can relate to that. They are always looking to be loyal to any brand that will meet their standards and you will find them as 8% of the fashion consumers market in Nigeria.
THE CONSUMATE CONSUMER
This category of consumers are the ultimate brand loyalists. Quality is a way of life for them and they would rather create and influence trends as opposed to following them. Simplicity is “it” for them and they would vote for class and comfort over showmanship. These consumers are like two in a hundred consumers.
We have only tried to categorise the Nigerian fashion consumers as far as results have proven, and you should know that this categorization is definitely not exhaustive and there are consumers who might find a bit of themselves in more than one category.
To further show if the statistics are correct, we took a poll to determine the behaviour of fashion consumers in Nigeria.
We asked if they would rather be loyal to a brand or be adventurous with different brands. We got a good number of responses, and they only further proved the above theory. Some were all for being loyal to a brand, others would rather try different options while some even called themselves “loyadventurists” because they can be loyal and adventurous at the same time.
All in all, we were able to see that different situations influence consumers to act differently, but one thing all of these consumers agreed on was this; As long as value is given, they will stick to the brand that gives it.