The Meaning of Loyalty: Definition, Characteristics, Determinants of Loyalty

What does loyalty mean ? In general, the meaning of loyalty is the quality of one’s loyalty or obedience to someone else or something (for example organization) which is shown through the attitude and actions of that person.

Another opinion says the notion of loyalty is the quality of one’s loyalty to another party which is shown by providing firm and constant support and obedience to someone or something.

Etymologically, the term “loyalty” (loyal) is adapted from the French language “Loial” which means the quality of a loyal attitude. Loyalty is something related to human emotions, so to get someone’s loyalty, we must be able to influence the emotional side of the person.

The use of the term loyalty is generally used in the fields of marketing , business, and also organization. In the field of marketing and business, the notion of loyalty is the willingness of customers or consumers to continue to buy and use a company’s products in the long run. While in the organizational field, loyalty is a person’s loyalty to the organization where he works by devoting the capabilities and time he has.

Also read: Definition of Emotion

The Meaning of Loyalty According to Experts

In order to better understand what loyalty is, then we can refer to the opinions of the following experts:

1. Kotler and Keller

According to Kotler and Keller (2009: 138), the meaning of loyalty is a commitment that is held deeply to buy or support a product or service that is preferred in the future even though the influence of the situation and marketing efforts have the potential to cause customers to switch.

2. Fandy Tjiptono

According to Fandy Tjiptono (2000: 110), the notion of loyalty is the commitment of customers to a brand, shop, supplier based on a very positive attitude and reflected in consistent repurchases.

3. Gramer and Brown

According to Gramer and Brown (Utomo 2006: 27), the notion of loyalty is the degree to which a consumer shows repeat purchasing behavior, a positive attitude, and uses products from a brand in the long run.

4. Jill Griffin

According to Jill Griffin (Hurriyati 2010: 128), the meaning of loyalty is the behavior of consumers who make routine or repeated purchases, based on the decision-making unit.

5. Hermawan Kartajaya

According to Hermawan Kartajaya (2004: 78), the notion of loyalty is a manifestation of the fundamental human need to have, support, feel safe, build attachment, and create emotional attachment.

Also read: Consumer Definition

Loyalty Characteristics

In the field of business marketing, we can see loyalty from its characteristics in consumer behavior towards a brand or company. Likewise, in the organizational field or the world of work, employee loyalty can be seen from his behavior in the work environment.

The following are some of the characteristics of that loyalty:

1. Characteristics of Consumer Loyalty

  • Consumers make repeated purchases of a product on a regular basis.
  • Consumers buy between product lines and services of a brand.
  • Consumers provide positive support for the company.
  • Consumers tend not to be influenced by the attractiveness of other brands.
  • Consumers want to refer a product or brand to others.

2. Characteristics of Employee Loyalty

  • Loyal employees will always obey the rules of an organization.
  • There is a high sense of responsibility within the employee towards the company.
  • Employees have the will to work together with others to achieve company goals.
  • Within loyal employees there is generally a sense of belonging to the company so that they behave and act prudently and responsibly.
  • Loyal employees generally have a good interpersonal relationship with other employees and also with their superiors.
  • The loyal attitude of employees can also be seen from their performance and level of interest in the work done.

Also read: Consumer Behavior

Determinants of Loyalty

From the explanation above we can understand that loyalty is something that cannot be bought with money. Someone’s loyalty is gained because of emotional factors so that the person behaves and acts loyal to the other party.

In this case, customer or employee loyalty can only be obtained if related parties can influence the emotional side. Some of the determinants of loyalty are as follows:

1. Consumer Loyalty Factors

  • The level of satisfaction (satisfaction)felt by consumers is a factor that greatly affects their loyalty.
  • The existence of emotional bonds (emotional bonding)between consumers and a product also determines their loyalty. For example; a brand can reflect the characteristics of consumers.
  • The existence of trust (trust)in consumers to a company or brand to perform a particular function.
  • The ease (choice reduction and habit)felt by consumers will make them feel comfortable so that they become loyal. For example, convenience in conducting transactions.
  • Experience with a company (history with company)experienced by a person can influence that person’s behavior. When consumers have a pleasant experience with a company or brand, they tend to want to repeat the experience.

2. Employee Loyalty Factors

  • The welfare (salary and facilities) of employees is something that greatly affects their loyalty to a company.
  • Meeting spiritual needs is also an important factor in maintaining employee loyalty. For example, spiritual activities, joint outbound activities, and others.
  • Career advancement and employee placement in the right position often make them more loyal to the company.
  • Listening to the opinions of employees can make them feel valued so that they become loyal to the company.
  • Career opportunities and a sense of security at work are also very influential in shaping employee loyalty.


by Abdullah Sam
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