Willingness to Search


Willingness to search measures the likelihood that customers will delay purchase, change stores, or reduce purchase quantities to avoid switching brands.

Although many metrics explore brand loyalty, this one has been called the “acid test.” It can tell a company much about the attitude of its customers and whether its position in the market is likely to be defensible against sustained pressure from a competitor. [1]


The purpose of the metric is to assess the commitment of a firm’s or a brand’s customer base. Brand or customer loyalty is a key marketing asset. Marketers evaluate aspects of it through a number of metrics, including repurchase rate, share of requirements, willingness to pay a price premium, and other AAU measures.

Perhaps the most fundamental test of loyalty, however, can be captured in a simple question:

When faced with a situation in which a brand is not available, will its customers search further or substitute the best available option?


Willingness to search (%) = Percentage of customers who are willing to leave a store without a product if their favorite brand is unavailable



  1. ^ Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; and David J. Reibstein (2010). Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance (Second Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

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