Growing your business every quarter and year is a difficult task. Especially when today’s consumers have so many options to choose from. That’s why cultivating brand loyalty is so important. It helps sustain growth by creating a loyal customer base that spends more and advocates your brand. Here’s how.
Let’s start with a fun poll. I’ll ask a few questions, and I want you to answer them for yourself truthfully. Okay, here we go.
Question 1: It’s a hot day, and you’re grabbing into the cooler for a carbonated beverage. Are you grabbing a Coca-Cola or Pepsi?
Question 2: Will you be pairing Lays or Ruffles with the soda of your choice?
Question 3: And lastly, when you’re ready to snap a picture of what you’re eating that day, are you taking that picture with an iPhone or an Android?
More than likely, you were able to answer these questions so instantaneously that there was hardly any thinking involved at all.
And that, my friends, is the magic of brand loyalty.
What is Brand Loyalty?
Brand loyalty or “customer loyalty” refers to customers’ commitment to a particular brand. At first, this loyalty is built out of preference for a particular product or service.
But over time, loyalty can turn into a habit that is very difficult to change once established. Just ask 59% of Americans, as they admit that once they commit to a brand, they’re loyal for life, according to this survey.
But like all relationships, companies must constantly put effort into making their consumers happy. Maintaining a healthy business-customer relationship should be a priority for major brands.
Why is brand loyalty so important?
There are some common-knowledge benefits to brand loyalty, most notably that your customer base will keep purchasing from your company for years to come (like Coke or an Apple product).
But what are some of the lesser know wins that come with gaining the full trust of your customers? Let’s get into five key benefits.
#1: Your customers become unspoken brand ambassadors
When someone is looking to purchase a product, who do they ask?
Friends and family, of course. In fact, 74% of consumers consider these recommendations closely when making a purchasing decision.
So when you’ve created a loyal customer base, think of them as more than just repeat customers. These are a group of valuable ambassadors, or “customer ambassadors,” who will freely promote your brand for you through word of mouth.
#2: Client contributions
When it comes to digital marketing with social media platforms, oftentimes, a company will spend its energy on creating tons of posts, videos, memes, and other content to display its brand.
Despite how great these efforts may be, everyone knows an ad when they see it. Subconsciously, they may already dismiss the opportunity to engage simply because they know it’s inherently biased.
Enter the loyal customer contributions. They can help market your brand positively in many ways like
- Give you star-rating reviews on Amazon and other platforms.
- They can create personalized social media posts about their customer experience to share with their followers.
- Bring social credibility to your product online.
The most important factor is that you hope those reviews to be five, not one star. It’s important to invest in a sentiment analysis tool like Revuze to ensure that the conversation about your product is a positive one.
#3: Customers are more valuable and forgiving
Is your company having difficulty determining how much to balance costs between acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones?
It’s a fair tug-a-war, as new customers mean expanding your potential loyal customer base while retaining customers can equal future purchases.
But what if something goes wrong? A not-so-stellar customer service experience, a product that came lightly damaged from shipping.
A new customer will immediately have a negative connotation with your brand and not likely promote it, maybe even try disparaging your reputation. A loyal customer will likely let small things slip and give the company the benefit of the doubt to remedy the problem.
#4: They are more likely to try new products
Very few companies can get away with selling one thing that doesn’t reinvent itself with the times. The most successful companies have to pivot and modernize with the change in trends and advancements.
Take, for instance, the success of Apple’s smartwatch. There were tons of technologically advanced watches before Apple’s version, such as Nike’s or Sony’s.
But it’s almost an instant success when Apple, which holds millions in its loyal fan base, releases a new product.
Brand loyalty will give you an audience that is more than willing to try new products your brand brings to the market.
Trying to convince a user to purchase your product without previous experience with your company is a much tougher conversion.
#5: Increased profits
Let’s not forget the goal of any digital marketing campaign is to boost the bottom line for the company. Fortunately, investing in your customer base will do just that.
At this point, hopefully, you’re convinced of the benefits of brand loyalty. Let’s learn what actionable steps you can take to improve your own consumer relationships.
How to increase brand loyalty
Here are five actionable ways to increase your brand loyalty.
Offer a loyalty program
One of the best ways to increase brand loyalty is to offer a loyalty program. We all have used a loyalty program in one form or another.
It can be anything from the card you get stamped at your coffee store, the phone number you enter at the grocery store for gas points, and the app you pull up when you purchase your favorite shoes.
Customers love building up points and getting a discount or rewards for shopping. It’s an incentive to continue doing business with your company.
If you don’t have a loyalty program currently being offered, this is an easy way to get started on improving your brand loyalty.
Send personalized communications
No one likes to feel like another one of the herd. Getting personalized touches from a brand gives your customers a way to feel “special” and want to keep continuing purchasing from your brand in the future.
This could include sending them a digital birthday card and reward with an easy-to-set-up email campaign. Or just send them a funny meme to get them laughing.
Any type of periodic personal touch can make a large impact over the long run (just like any other relationship!)
Provide excellent customer service
There is no quicker way to lose a customer than to deliver poor customer service. This means it’s important your brand goes above and beyond for your customers, whether it’s resolving a problem quickly or helping them through their purchasing journey.
Excellent customer service will make your customers feel valued, and they will more likely continue doing business with you.
Everyone wants to feel that they’re privy to something exclusive. And they should be treated like first-class customers when they’ve repeatedly purchased with you.
Offer exclusive deals and discounts to your loyal customers. One great way is to give them early access to new products or services, then what’s available to the general public.
Make your customer feel like the VIP that they are.
Make it easy for customers to connect with you
Humans are social beings, so interact with your clientele as much as possible. Not only does this help gain their trust, but it helps you keep a pulse on how your product or service is performing.
This could include providing multiple channels for customer services, such as phone, email, live chat, or social media. We now have so many ways to reach out to our customers in today’s digital climate.
These five actionable steps should get you quickly on the road to creating a great brand-consumer experience that will benefit both your customers but also your marketing strategies.
Continue to acquire new leads, but don’t forget to nurture the ones you already have. And once you have them, learn how to analyze their feedback to keep providing amazing experiences.