Our range of experiences are similar - it depends?
I would hope to be able to suggest there are some rules or criteria to take the uncertainty out of the answer. I Can't.
The only certainty is that everything is constantly changing. And trying to keep up is even more challenging.
Is loyalty fickle? Are we loyal to price, service, quality, convenience or fake discounts and rewards?
Is loyalty also a two way street? If both parties are willing to communicate and share the rewards?
The continued aggregation of business makes loyalty a vague outcome. We have big companies taking over small to gain market share (IE customers) without any notion of loyalty (EG Westnet became iiNet and now merged into TPG. There's not a enough word space to relate that outcome). It's also evident in the banking industry where banks are now insurance brokers, financial service providers and super/managed investment providers. Great - but with all those extra services why has my local branch closed and why do I pay the same or more than a new customer on an introductory rate? As the current banking sector inquiry and other public criticisms suggest there is not true competition. Loyalty is worth nought until you leave. Even less if you are a self funded retiree trying to renegotiate a loan.
I can't see any one individual being able to influence the majority of our purchasing outcomes. Loyalty will need to be collectively bargained.
How do you know you have the best outcome, assurances and deal?
For an organisation such as Choice the future is much broader than just testing products. Hopefully it continues to stretch the vision.
I am loyal to the local Stihl dealer but only because it's too far to drive to the next one. The only other dealership in town sells Honda and Hasqvarna. Is brand loyalty relevant in the same way or am I just lazy? The staff at both are personable and helpful, although the smiles at one are broader. I use both depending on product but prefer one over the other. It's not that simple if you don't live in a big city.