In order to drive business growth, an entire organization must be committed to attracting new customers and delighting existing ones. Now that we’ve covered some of the many tactics associated with customer acquisition, it’s time to focus our attention on how to turn current customers into raving fans. This process begins by answering the all-important question, “What is brand loyalty?”
This important concept can influence decisions at the micro and macro level. Throughout this chapter, you’ll discover how different aspects of brand loyalty may change or dictate the behavior of key team members, including those on your marketing, sales, and customer support teams.
Keep reading to find out how to maintain brand loyalty in a complex, competitive, and ever-changing marketplace. In this blog, we’ll look at the following:
- What is Brand Loyalty?
- What Builds Brand Loyalty?
- How Does Brand Loyalty Pay Off in Customer Acquisition?
- 6 Ways to Increase Brand Loyalty
What is Brand Loyalty?
Brand loyalty is defined as a sincere devotion to a product, good, or service that occurs when buyers continue to buy from a single source rather than exploring competing options.
The key factor here is a willingness to make multiple purchases or continue a subscription or contract over time as a result of several positive experiences. The common denominator in different definitions of brand loyalty is the overwhelmingly positive association that customers develop with your specific product, service, or brand, even when competing offers may sound appealing.
Defining Brand Loyalty for Your Business
To learn more about how to develop brand loyalty with your particular target audience, you may need to ask several important questions such as:
- What is it about a product or service that satisfies a specific need?
- What emotional responses do customers feel towards your brand or product?
- Why edge does your product or service have over other options?
What Builds Brand Loyalty?
Although it is possible to feel captivated by a product or service after the very first experience, true and enduring brand loyalty is often established over time. Building brand loyalty is a progressive part of the customer journey.
But brand loyalty is not as simple as a customer continuing to purchase products or services from your company. In fact, for many consumer goods brands, research from Yopto shows that 80% of customers need to make at least three purchases before they can exhibit feelings of brand loyalty.
Strong brand loyalty is built when customers have positive experiences with:
- Your product or service
- Team members
- Customer service representatives
- Fellow brand-loyal customers
- Content that matches their needs and values
Below, we’ll discuss several more ways that you can build brand loyalty throughout your customer base.
Customer Loyalty vs. Brand Loyalty
Occasionally, you may hear the terms customer loyalty and brand loyalty used interchangeably. While these two principles are similar, there is one major difference, and that involves money.
Customer loyalty is driven by a company’s ability to offer the best deal, usually in terms of price or special money-saving offers. Customers are likely to return because the perceived value matches what they are willing to spend or invest for a certain level of service.
On the other hand, brand loyalty is rarely dependent upon prices or money. Instead, the focus of brand loyalty is exclusively on the perception of your brand. Brand loyalty always requires a high-quality and predictable experience, but many marketers find that it is easier to maintain than customer loyalty, which can ebb and flow based on monetary offers.
How Does Brand Loyalty Pay Off in Customer Acquisition?
Once you establish brand loyalty, your business will begin to notice how it pays off in a variety of ways. This can be attributed to the emotional connection and loyalty buyers feel toward a certain brand. Positive psychological experiences will always have tremendous effects on purchasing decisions and behaviors.
You may start to notice the perks of brand loyalty in the following situations:
- Buyers begin to recognize your company or brand and talk positively about it to others.
- Your company builds a competitive edge in the marketplace as a direct result of the strong foundation you’ve established.
- Your team can introduce and test new products with more confidence since you already know that brand-loyal customers are interested in what you have to offer.
- The sales process works more seamlessly as more customers express a desire to upgrade, make additional purchases, or stay connected.
6 Ways to Increase Brand Loyalty
When you think about creating brand loyalty, you should also consider the time, resources, and manpower required to make it a reality. Since brand loyalty is driven by people, you may need to adapt the cornerstone principles of your business to be more people-oriented. Below are several practical ways to increase brand loyalty for your company.
1. Strong customer service
With the rise of live chats and social media messaging, modern expectations regarding customer service are rising. Customers may automatically expect fast yet empathetic responses to their needs, concerns, and questions.
Creating a customer service system is vital to brand loyalty and business growth. Whether you assign team members the task of responding to social media messages or you have an internal support structure for responding to clients, this is one area of your business that requires careful planning.
2. Positive social media presence
When talking about the importance of brand loyalty in modern marketing, social media cannot be overlooked. Because most consumers spend significant time on social media, leveraging social media for your business growth and brand loyalty initiatives is an easy (and free!) way to get started.
You can use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to cultivate stronger brand loyalty in the following ways.
- Introduce your customers to behind-the-scenes aspects of your operations.
- Respond to comments, questions, and reviews in a timely and engaging way.
- Dedicate time to sharing positive feedback received from various customers.
- Maintain transparency with customers through regular updates, product discounts, and other special incentives.
Social media also provides an opportunity for your brand to address current events or take a stance on a particular topic or movement. Some buyers may feel inclined to support businesses that connect with their overall values.
3. Appeal to emotion
Using emotional appeal to draw customers in can be extremely effective, but it also comes with certain caveats. Whenever your business focuses on emotion to create brand loyalty, it’s important that you have a clear picture of who your target audience is and what kind of content they respond well to. Otherwise, you may risk over-segmenting your target customer base.
Emotional branding is always designed to provoke a psychological response. In your marketing efforts, you may choose to appeal to customers’ sense of safety, feelings of belonging, or the level of self-esteem they possess. Emotions can also be triggered by positioning your business as the more ethical or responsible choice when compared to other options.
4. Boost customer engagement
Do you want to know what your customers are really thinking? If not, then you simply have to ask them. Brand-loyal customers want to be involved in the conversations that take place in and throughout your business and will appreciate their feedback being incorporated into future initiatives.
No matter which channels you choose to use for customer engagement, ask leading questions. What positive associations do they have with your brand? What keeps them coming back to make more purchases?
Social listening is also crucial to customer engagement. When you devote time and resources to hearing what your customers are saying across the internet, you can improve your products or services and may end up even converting those who were previously unsure or skeptical about working with you.
5. Meet and exceed expectations
Going above and beyond your customers’ expectations has a number of distinct benefits. Not only are customers likely to be more satisfied, but they’re also less likely to care about shopping around or finding better prices. Customer dedication is another one of the advantages of brand loyalty.
You can instill many positive practices to delight your customers by exceeding expectations. Some practical and easy ideas include:
- Celebrating a customer’s success when they use your product
- Sending a personal follow-up message after a purchase
- Offering a special bonus or incentive that’s only available to them
- Asking for personal feedback and then putting it into action
- Focusing on the small details (packaging, messaging, and branding) that prompt a surprised or positive response
Many of these ideas go hand-in-hand with the above recommendations for building brand loyalty and credibility. However, the key to success is consistent and regular implementation.
6. Launch audience-nurturing marketing campaigns
Brand loyalty is often constructed upon solid, repeated contact. Additionally, it begins from the moment a new prospect or lead chooses to interact or make a purchase. This is where email nurturing comes into play.
Nurturing campaigns can be used for a variety of purposes, but they’re most often set in motion when you want to:
- Extend a welcome message to new clients or customers
- Communicate more information about your business
- Follow-up by suggesting content and resources that may be helpful
Sending a heartfelt welcome message or suggesting content based on what you know about a customer is another way to go above and beyond. Although nurturing messages aren’t the only way to build brand loyalty, they are an opportunity to provide positive experiences that illustrate your company’s willingness to connect, listen, and educate.
Turn Passive Followers into Loyal Customers
Are you tired of spinning your wheels and simply hoping that your business will develop a following of brand-loyal customers? At Striventa, we know how tiring it can be to test out lots of different strategies on your own.
That’s why we’ve developed a simple program with one singular goal in mind – customer acquisition. Our Business Growth Program will help you scale your business by focusing on your brand foundation and customer acquisition tactics while ensuring you are attracting, engaging, and delighting your ideal customer.