Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
Building brand loyalty isn't difficult when you understand the marketing science that drives it. Here's how you need to get started. We've put together this guide to make it easy for you to build brand loyalty today and how to build it in digital space too.
Any company's survival in the long-term relies on seeking out new customers and increasing existing revenue streams. So is there something you're overlooking in our haste to boost growth? Maybe even somebody?
When you're focused solely on obtaining new customers, it's easy to lose sight of your current customers' most important source of income. Instead, expanding your marketing efforts and focusing on customer retention are the keys to building customer loyalty.
So, let's look at what builds brand loyalty and how some companies' good image goes beyond online reviews.
What is brand loyalty?
Long-term client preference for one brand over the competition is referred to as "brand loyalty." Your customers' desire to remain loyal to you is the driving force behind retention. The perception of a brand by a customer ranges from their experience with a firm to a brand's reputation, mission, and values.
Retention of customers is a concrete goal toward creating brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is measured based on a company's capacity to keep customers coming back for more.
Why is it important?
For various reasons, client loyalty is considered the foundation of any brand's success.
- Repeat customers who have previously purchased from you are more likely to spend more money than those who have never done so. In reality, customer spending tends to rise directly to the length of time they've been doing business with your company.
- Increased conversion rates are the result of repeat customers. For example, new clients have a conversion rate of 5-20%, whereas existing customers have an average conversion rate of 60-70 %. In other words, returning clients are worth more to you than the new ones.
- Profits rise when customers are loyal. The more devoted your customers are, the more money you'll make. A 5-percent improvement in client retention has been shown to boost profitability by 25 to 95 percent.
- Acquiring new clients can be costly; it is around five times more expensive than keeping an existing customer. However, retaining existing customers is far more cost-effective than acquiring new ones because repeat customers provide more considerable earnings at lower costs.
- Devoted customers do their shopping on a more frequent basis. Therefore, customers will keep coming back to you if their initial experience is satisfying. This is especially true during the holiday season when people buy presents and spend more money than they usually would.
- Profitability is aided by client loyalty. It's easier to anticipate and plan your finances and marketing efforts when you have a following of repeat customers.
Types of brand loyalty
Brand loyalty comes in many shapes and sizes. Let's break down the types of loyalty to understand how to build brand loyalty.
A good deal is hard to refuse the first time, let alone the second and third. With these clients, brand loyalty only lasts as long as your product and prices remain consistent. We live in an era when anyone can compare prices on the internet! Once the competition undercuts you, this type of customer will move on.
This loose attachment helps you increase your market shares. This consumer sector is the first to try a new product, especially if it's cheap. If you play your cards right, they'll rapidly become devoted consumers. People who buy a grocery store's own-brand products fit into this demographic.
While there's an overlap with the preceding type, the mindset is different. Promotions, discounts, and the like are crucial, but they're not the only approach to attract this client type. They may choose your goods for the additional benefits. A membership, loyalty card, or referral bonus might make them your biggest advocates.
These clients buy from you because it's easier. If you can make your consumer experience smoother than your competitors', you'll gain a devoted admirer. This category isn't price-sensitive, but everyone loves a good deal. Even if yours isn't the cheapest solution on the market, eco-friendly packaging, excellent customer service, or supporting a cause can win their allegiance.
Customer happiness is the ultimate loyalty motivator/catalyst. People who enjoy the whole experience will return without additional incentives. High-quality service gains you loyalty without extra effort. However, remember that it's easy to lose their trust, so be careful.
These clients will move to the competition if they offer a better deal, and they'll do it if you make a mistake. Therefore, acquiring and keeping this type of consumer requires a consistently high level of goods and services on your end.
What can companies do to build and improve brand loyalty?
Let us look into what can be done to begin and boost brand loyalty.
Focus on consistent quality
Brand loyalty can be built by delivering on your promises. The quality of the services and goods you provide must be maintained throughout the entire process so that the value you bring is never in question. Invest in understanding the client's specific needs. If you surpass the client's expectations, there will be no cause for the client to go with your competition.
Make sure you remain consistent with your service standards and that the same level of quality goes into every other aspect of the company (marketing, values, tone, etc.)
Keep in touch
Regularly keeping in touch with your customers strengthens the relationship between your company and your clients. Inform your clientele about the changes in your company, both in terms of business and your employees. A personal connection is what you want from the clients, and there's no better method than showing an interest in them.
Ask for input on what you're doing and make it clear that you're interested in what they have to say. Traditional B2B approaches (emails and phone conversations) and more unorthodox methods might be used (social media, physical letters). In a B2B context, a personal touch works wonders.
Market yourself through your customers
With word-of-mouth referrals, you can gain more trust from customers than you would've if you'd promoted your brand on your own. Your clients will be able to see how successful your business is if your media partners and other industry influencers encourage you. Marketing brand loyalty builds indirect recognition in your community through positive PR, such as philanthropic activity or sponsorship. Maintain your relevance.
Prioritize excellent customer support over sales
It's also possible to establish customer loyalty by focusing all of your company's efforts on providing a positive customer experience. Instead of a sales-oriented approach, you can use this business/marketing orientation to remind your clients that they are the center of your operations. As a rule of thumb, it's usually best to avoid rewarding new consumers by giving them better deals than established customers.
Provide loyalty incentives
The easiest method to wow your consumers is to give them a pleasant surprise from time to time. You can build the relationship and express genuine appreciation by rewarding your customers with unexpected gifts. This can be accomplished by sending presents or letters on birthdays, other personal milestones, and seasonal events.
Your client's social media feeds will also show what activities they engage in, which may help you pick a gift for them. You should aim to surprise your client at least twice a year with something new. However, there is a thin line between being friendly and being invasive. Please tread carefully.
Looking for new strategies to keep your customers happy continuously is essential. Don't be careless about marketing, and avoid sending out mass emails to your clients without mentioning their names.
Whenever possible, personalize all of your marketing communications, so they don't end up in the spam folder. You should also try to anticipate your customers' needs by helping them before they even realize they need your help. Alternatively, you can be ready to offer support when the time comes - this will give them a good reason to return.
Don't wait to act. However, just because the customer would prefer not to go through the hassle of finding a new supplier doesn't mean you can relax.
Building brand loyalty digitally
The methods have changed quite a bit over the years. Print, radio, and TV ads were once enough to keep brands at the forefront, but marketing in the modern age involves a bit more subtlety and intricacy.
But you’ll likely find that most of these methods are quite universal, making them applicable to brands both large and small, whether they be brand new or firmly established.
Use social media wisely
Develop a unique brand voice, engage with users by answering questions and responding to comments, and drive traffic to your website. This will not only allow you to build on established customer relationships and provide support, but it’ll also work seamlessly with your other branding. These points are pivotal ones when you’re attempting to develop brand loyalty. You may also want to think about involving established social media influencers to get the word out about your brand.
Focus on customer services
The quality of your customer service matters a lot when it comes to brand loyalty. How reachable you are or the way in which you respond to customer concerns will have a direct impact on how trustworthy the average consumer will consider your brand to be. Ignored questions, combative responses, and lack of helpfulness will likely result in bad reviews and customer exodus en masse.
Make content your priority
Since a decade, content marketing has become a lot more popular. By providing relevant, interesting information to just about anyone who surfs the web, you can prove that your company is a leader in your industry. This helps to build brand trust and authority, which makes customers more likely to turn to you when they need help. That can ultimately translate into increased sales and customer loyalty.
Your design needs to be seamless and impactful on every platform, every time. That means that your social media platforms, blog, and all other marketing materials all need to make sense together. Consider the fact that Adobe’s 2016 State of Create Report revealed that seven in 10 U.S. adults said they’d be more loyal to a brand that employs good design.
“Good design” doesn’t only mean that it’s aesthetically pleasing; it also needs to be consistent and instantly recognizable. After all, your customers need to instantly know what they’re getting and who they’re getting it from. Otherwise, they’ll likely move on to a competitor who’s left no room for doubt.
Appeal to local customers
A lot of companies assume that local customers already know about them. But the reality is that most people actually dont remember those kinds of details, even if they’ve found you on Google before. Focusing on local SEO, however, will help both locals and visitors find you right away. Targeted ads and Google Business reviews will help your brand become much more visible.
When it comes to building brand loyalty, it's not enough to simply provide excellent products and services. Instead, you must establish a personal connection with your target audience and influence their perceptions of your brand.
If you're serious about making a lasting impression on your target market, you'll need to establish a memorable brand identity. To avoid losing your existing customer base on the way to the brand's success, think of how to incorporate the principles you learned in this article into your company's values. You'll have a devoted consumer base if you follow these techniques and have a little patience.
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