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When Brand Loyalty Costs You More

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Loyalty is usually considered a virtue. In romance, in friendships, in business — loyalty typically wins. But when it comes to brands, blind loyalty can actually be a bad thing. Stand by your brand? Always and forever? I don’t think so. Here are six ways brand loyalty costs you money.

1. It prevents you from discovering new products

Consumers who rigidly stick to one particular brand never discover what else it out there and let’s face it, there’s always something else out there. With that degree of loyalty, you may miss out on new products or more efficient options that can save you money in the long run.

2. It discourages price comparison

From cellphone carriers to bulk cereal, brand loyalty discourages objective price comparison. If you never consider other options, you miss out on special promotions, deep discounts, and other money-saving opportunities.

Venture beyond your go-to brands. In the grocery store, compare the unit price of products and the value that generics and store brands offer. For services such as cable, internet, and phone, check out new providers who may have more flexible pricing options.

3. It limits flexibility

Though brand loyalty works best when it’s voluntary, many companies prefer something a bit more binding. Think about brand-specific software, tech accessories that aren’t universally compatible with other devices, and smartphones that lock out all carriers but one. Are the manufacturers nurturing loyalty by supplying a superior product or service, or are they simply benefiting from a captive consumer base? Remember, when a brand limits your flexibility, it limits your opportunity to save.

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