A recent research study published in The Journal Of Marketing (Are Women More Loyal Customers Than Men? Gender Differences in Loyalty to Firms and Individual Service Providers by Valentyna Melnyk, Stijn M.J. van Osselaer, & Tammo H.A. Bijmolt) debunks the conventional wisdom about women being more “loyal” customers than men. The authors conducted five studies showing that this is not always the case. Female customers are indeed more loyal than male customers to individuals, such as specific service providers (e.g., a hair dresser, a doctor, a salesperson). However, the difference is reversed for groups and group like entities, such as companies. That is, men tend to be more loyal than women to companies and organizations (e.g., a hair salon, a medical clinic, a store).
What does this mean to you? Gender affects customer loyalty—women are more loyal to individual employees or service providers, and men are more loyal to groups of people or companies. Female customer defection should be anticipated when an employee leaves a company, therefore requiring readily available measures to accommodate for this possibility.
In addition, advertising strategies should correspond to the preferences of the gender of the customer base. For example, “for companies targeting men, an advertising strategy that stresses group themes may engender more loyalty, whereas for companies targeting women, advertising themes focusing on personal relationships may be more suitable.” Alternatively, marketing might focus on methods that are symmetric for women, stressing a kind of peer relationship, and for men, stressing asymmetric involvement, like being a follower in Twitter.
Download the full report and study, Are Women More Loyal Than Men.