Posted by: Jaine Bolton
Fri, 30 Sep 2016
In today’s online marketplace, driven by the desire for ever-greater discounts that can be compared and consumed in a click, few customers stay loyal to a brand. In fact 78 percent of consumers are not loyal to any particular brand!
So in this value obsessed economy how can your business secure brand loyalty?
Although closely linked, customer and brand loyalty are actually two very different concepts, living at opposite ends of the scale.
Customer loyalty is dependent upon your customers coming back to you because you have lower prices or better discounts for what they want, versus the competition.
Brand loyalty is based on the belief of your customers that you offer a better service or higher quality product than anyone else, regardless of pricing or other considerations.
So how do you instill brand loyalty within your customer retention strategy?
This needs to be achieved in two very distinct and separate ways.
Although potentially harder to earn, brand loyalty is easier to maintain once it has been established, offering less risk than customer loyalty, which requires constant nurturing through regular marketing of discounts or promotions.
Brand loyalty can be a longer, less frequent purchase, but tends to reap higher rewards in terms of profit margin.
As Ryan Westwood writes in his article, Three ways to build brand loyalty “Your brand should inspire, be consistent and promote your company’s core values.”
1. Your brand should inspire people through emotion and innovation. When a customer is inspired to do better in life and identifies your product as one that can help in the process—name your price.
2. Promoting Core Values mean that when your customers identify with the mission and core values of your company, it’s easy to build loyalty.
3. Consistency is an important factor in building brand loyalty. When customers can rely on the same quality of service or product, a sense of loyalty develops.
It used to be that brand awareness was king. Ensuring as many people as possible knew about your product would mean the competition wouldn’t get a look, right? Wrong. The problem here is that by solely creating awareness, you can quickly loose any differentiation you might have had and possibly a large marketing spend just to stay on your customer’s radar with very little return.
Therefore great brands, even good brands are not merely seen but they are heard. Also they make an emotional connection that resonates like a bell and lives within the minds of their customers.
“People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” Simon Sinek
The connection must also be heart-felt on behalf of the brand. If you try to link to your customer through superficial marketing or celebrity endorsements bereft of substance, your efforts will fail. Brands must stay true to their core values.
Finally, don’t try to be everything to everyone, consistently deliver a better experience than the next brand and keep doing it. That doesn’t just mean your shopping cart is easier or your phones are answered quicker. Everything from your stationery, website and printed materials to employee attitudes and emails directly support or detract from your company’s brand image. But it is humans that bring brands to life. From the CEO to frontline employees it is important to have regular brand reviews, to take stock of what is happening with your brand.
Powerful brands don’t just happen by chance; they must be cultivated – nurtured over time.
Values, vision and innovation are at the heart of every successful brand. Understanding how they relate and using them to persuade and influence your customer at every touch point is our strength; whether digital, in print or through your identity. See some of the work we’ve loved creating and explore the expertise we can offer.