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The Loyalty Series: Keeping the Love
Now that you’ve built your brand and know how to build positive associations, it’s time to know how to catch them, and more importantly, keep them!
So what is brand loyalty exactly? If one frequently purchases an item of a specific brand – let’s say a cup of Joe at a certain coffee shop- does that show brand loyalty?
In a nutshell, brand loyalty can be defined as a result of consumer behavior and is affected by one’s preferences. It is often based on perceptions that has been brought about the positive associations to it. Consumers actively seek out your brand, no matter what inconveniences or hurdles they may encounter. While we all know the great benefits brand loyalty brings, but how does one foster this thing?
Let Us Count More Ways…
Tell your story. Everyone loves a good story. Do this in-person and online. A good story – one that can set you apart from the competition by establishing your uniqueness – can go a long way. Remember, an affinity to a brand is brought about by emotions. Get a good story going to thug their heartstrings in a good way!
Make connections. And not just any kind of connection - make it an emotional one. Engage with your customers on a frequent and consistent basis. Listen to your customers. Don’t start selling to them, listen to what they actually have to say so that you in turn can deliver a memorable experience for them. Get to know your customers, understand what makes them tick. If they have any comments about you and your product/service, read them.
Don’t just focus on getting new clients. Prioritise keeping your existing ones too! Give your existing clientele and new ones great reasons to come back and stay. Do with rewards programs, give insider access, and make use of other non-monetary driven incentives. A pub can give drinks on the house for returning customers; random gifts or surprise upgrades for deliveries; or even hand written ‘thank- you’ notes can go a long way.
Go with the flow. Stay relevant. Keep your eyes and ears open to what are the current trends in your industry and what the competition is doing. You have to be on level with your customers in order give them what they want and need. If your strategies aren’t relevant to the current market, then your message will not provide any value and will fall on deaf ears. Likewise, staying relevant lets you know what drives your customer’s choices, which is not an easy feat but is all worth the effort to do so. Knowledge is power here my friend!
Be the best. Focus on what your brand does best and deliver. While it may not be a bad idea to become a jack-of-all-trades brand, you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin. Be focusing on your brand’s strengths, you will be able to be consistent in presenting the same high quality message and performance throughout. Consistency helps re-affirm the trust and credibility of your brand and at the same time, helps make you stand out from the competition.
And last but not least, keep things simple. What do we mean by that? Easy – just make the decision process, well…easy! A consumer study showed that if the easier a brand makes the purchase-decision journey, the brand has a higher repurchase rate, and a higher recommendation rate compared to a brand who is at the opposite spectrum. Consumers have generally made up their minds when it comes to their online sign-ups or purchases, so why complicate things? Why so many steps for checkout? Creating more efficient channels such as checkouts while mimimising other steps (such as entering a number of information sources) are a good way to go. Why? They’ve already made their decision, so why sabotage things but making it hard for them to click on “buy”?
Remember catching is only half the fun, keeping customers is where the real joy is!