Brand loyalty is the positive feelings towards a brand and dedication to purchase the same product or service repeatedly, regardless of deficiencies, a competitor's actions or changes in the environment. It can also be demonstrated with other behaviors such as positive word-of-mouth advocacy.
A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. I’ve written a summary of 5 questions brand strategist ask, when auditing a business. Get your free copy here before the campaign ends this month.
Repeat business is cheaper than new business. In fact, acquiring a new customer is as much as 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing one(we’re going to discuss about this in the next section). Longtime customers don’t require the extensive marketing efforts that potential customers do. Yes, an advertised deal or coupon might bring a loyal customer into the store, but they were already on the way there to begin with. You can depend on loyal customers to choose your business over others, so carefully craft campaigns to acknowledge their commitment - don’t oversell the loyal base.
Not only do repeat customers convert more often, they have a higher average order value than first time buyers. This means that your repeat customers are buying more from your store and more often!
Now you’re probably wondering how loyal are customers? If a customer has no sense of dedication to a particular brand, they are considered brand-agnostic. Building a sense of brand loyalty is important for any business as it directly correlates to an increase in customer retention rates and a decrease in churn rate.
Brand loyalists will advocate on the company’s behalf. As champions of the brand they will drive word-of-mouth marketing. Brands with loyal customers are likely to see a higher than normal customer lifetime value.
There’s an opportunity here to focus more on existing customers, rather than chasing down new ones. Switching up your strategy will help you get more value from your marketing budget and waste less time pursuing every potential lead you can find, whether or not they’re a good fit for your business.
The solution that’s proven to work is staying in touch on a regular basis. For some businesses with a very small number of high-value clients, that can be accomplished on a 1-on-1 basis. But for most businesses, maintaining that kind of personal outreach for every customer just isn’t realistic.
That’s where digital marketing comes in.
By simply staying in touch using content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing, you can see success in multiple ways:
Businesses can depend on their loyal customers to represent their brand. Loyal customers are knowledgeable about your product, experienced with the service you provide, and can be eager to talk about it. They serve as an unbiased source of information, no strings attached, which is even more convincing than your company’s marketing efforts. Brand advocates will bring you business, at no cost, simply through their recommendations.
Provide channels for feedback using social media
When customers use your products, they will have an opinion about it. The best way to know how they feel about it is to provide channels which they can use to inform you. These opinions can be helpful in different ways.
Some opinions can be potential reasons for them leaving in the future, or they could be feedback from experienced users on how to improve the product.
After you have given your customers a voice to express their feedback and experiences, you want to make them feel special for supporting you! Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter give users a channel for identity expression, where they can showcase their thoughts and actions to their networks and beyond.
These platforms also provide a great way for you to encourage customer interactions through user-generated content (UGC). Social media contests and giveaways incentivize customers to interact with the brand and promote it through their networks.
Before we dig deeper, i just want to let you know that we’ve put together a “15 Actionable Steps in Building Brand + Bonus Materials” and in one of the chapter, we’ve covered Brand Emotion and 4 tips in how you can implement it in your business.
Grab it here for free, or save it later in bookmark.
PS: It’s only free for May 2021.
Now let’s get into it!
When companies connect with customers’ emotions, the payoff can be huge. Consider these examples: After a major bank introduced a credit card for Millennials that was designed to inspire emotional connection, use among the segment increased by 70% and new account growth rose by 40%. Within a year of launching products and messaging to maximize emotional connection, a leading household cleaner turned market share losses into double-digit growth. And when a nationwide apparel retailer reoriented its merchandising and customer experience to its most emotionally connected customer segments, same-store sales growth accelerated more than threefold.
Given the enormous opportunity to create new value, companies should pursue emotional connections as a science—and a strategy. But for most, building these connections is more guesswork than science. At the end of the day they have little idea what really works and whether their efforts have produced the desired results.
-Harvard Business Review
First, inventory your existing market research and customer insight data. You will probably find qualitative descriptions of your customers’ motivating emotions, such as what aspects of life they value most (family, community, freedom, security) and what they aspire to day-to-day and in the future. From there, pursue research to add detail to your understanding of those emotions. Define a set of emotional motivators to probe—the list in the exhibit “High-Impact Motivators” will provide ideas, as will your qualitative research. Online surveys can help you quantify the relevance of individual motivators. Are your customers more driven by life in the moment or by future goals? Do they place greater value on social acceptance or on individuality? Don’t assume you know what motivates customers just because you know who they are. Young parents may be motivated by a desire to provide security for their families—or by an urge to escape and have some fun (you will probably find both types in your customer base). And don’t undermine your understanding of customers’ emotions by focusing on how people feel about your brand or how they say it makes them feel. You need to understand their underlying motivations separate from your brand.
To do this, identify those who are highly satisfied with your brand—whatever the degree of their emotional connection—and divide them into quartiles according to annual purchases, advocacy, and so on. Examine the top quartile to see how the characteristics and behavior of your best customers differ from those of people in the other quartiles. Look at demographics, whether people buy in person or online, how much they buy from your competitors, and where they get their information about your brand (traditional media, social networks, and so on). Compare the emotional motivators of your best customers with the ones you’ve researched for your overall customer base and see which are specific or more important to the high-value group. Find the two or three of these key motivators that have a strong association with your brand. They will serve as an initial guide to the emotions you need to connect with in order to grow the most valuable customer segment of your business and to the marketing strategies and customer experience tactics that will provide the greatest connection opportunities.
Use the language of emotional connection when you talk about your customers—not just in the marketing department but across the firm. In our experience, successful strategies based on emotional connection require buy-in from the top and must be embraced across functions. For example, if people in product development are working on a version that’s easier to use, they shouldn’t just ask whether customers will be satisfied with it; they should learn which emotional motivators it resonates with and how it will strengthen emotional connections.
The ultimate reason why loyal customers are vital to small businesses: they lead to more profits. Spending more money per visit to your store adds up over time, so much so that increasing customer retention by just 5% will increase profit by 25%.
The effort it takes to create loyal customers has a great return value, and this value means sustainability. Repeat customers provide the sturdy foundation your business needs to not only survive but flourish.
Assess your business plan and make sure you aren’t getting distracted by the allure of new customers. Remember to allocate enough time and money into building and retaining loyal customers. With the right balance, you can maintain a base of lifetime customers, save money, and grow your business.
Now, as i promise, if you still feel like this article is not giving you any value for your business, feel free to send me an email of why do you think this article is useless, and i will give you the access of our appointment software for 45mins free consultation.