Brand loyalty refers to the customer's emotion-based decision to continue giving their business to a certain brand. This buying behavior is defined by the consumers perception that they a certain brand will meet their needs consistently.
When a consumer is truly loyal to a brand, an alternative from a different company won't fulfill their needs. Even if their preferred product isn't available, they won't purchase a substitute product from an opposing brand.
Brand loyalty is based on an emotional involvement that develops between the consumer and the brand. The consumer's perception is that the brand fulfills some kind of physical need or emotional want in such a unique way that some kind of emotion is evoked during the purchase process and while using the brand.
The emotional connection to a certain product or service is what keeps consumers coming back to the same brands. They expect the same experience each time they make a purchase. If that experience falters, the company runs the risk of losing consumer loyalty to their brand.
Why Brand Loyalty Matters to Your Business
A brand with a loyal following has the power to withstand problematic events that others may falter under. Be it a recession, smear campaign, or social media faux pas, the loyal customers will continue buying the products regardless. Basically, having strong brand loyalty from consumers equates to long term success for the brand itself.
Many factors can contribute to why loyal customers latch onto a specific brand. Here are a few reasons-
High quality products
the quality of a product is often the first thing customers will review before purchasing. If they're going to part with their hard earned money, they want to know the product is of good value and will last. Having a high quality product in the marketplace creates a good possibility of repeat customers.
Manufacturing and design aesthetics are some of the ways a consumer will test for product quality. Other ways a company can offer high quality to their consumers is through customer service. Include extended warranties, lifetime guarantees, fast or free shipping to products offered.
Brand loyalty is developed because a consumer expects a product or service to deliver a certain way every time its purchased. Having a consistent user experience is a sure fire way to get them coming back repeatedly when they are in need of that product or service. When the consumer knows what to expect, they're more likely to buy.
A strong identity is where the "brand" part of brand loyalty comes in. High quality products, customer service, and consistency are all part of that brand image. When a consumer sees a product from that brand, or even its marketing identifiers like a logo, they get a certain feeling about them. That brand identity takes time to build but it can mean continued support from loyal customers when fashioned appropriately.
An investment in building loyalty among customers is never a wasted effort. Consumers will see a brand name advertisement and immediately associated response to that company.
Winning over a loyal customer takes effort. These five tips will help design marketing strategies that keep customers coming back.
1. Engage with customers
Customers like to be heard and have a sense of belonging even within the massive framework of a company. Reaching out to customers with insider news about upcoming developments, or soliciting their opinion through polls, makes them feel connected.
Nurturing these customer relationships comes down to transparency, consistency, and timeliness. Social media can be a vehicle to engage with customers, along with company newsletters. It's important to answer any customer questions on these platforms in a timely and efficient manner. Don't leave them hanging.
2. Understand Customer Needs
Every journey of developing a brand starts with knowing the customer the business is trying to reach. Engaging with customers directly is a good start in understanding what they are looking for in a brand. Once that information is collected, the brand can be geared towards what the customers want.
42% of startups didn't make it due to a lack of understanding of their target audience. Any engagement with the customer base on social media platforms or otherwise should be a conversation. But the company should be listening 80% of the time. Doing it this way creates a better understanding of what the customers like and what they would rather have changed.
3. Make sure of Brand Consistency
As mentioned, remaining consistent is paramount in the development of building loyal customers for a brand. Every customer experience should reflect the same promises the customers want to have. Every time goods or services are delivered, they under-promise and over-deliver. This provides the potential to grow a more loyal customer base.
4. Invest in a Professional Logo
Expectation should be met with a level of consistency in design as well. Companies need to develop a specific look and feel for their brand. This includes a recognizable logo, color scheme, and brand message or story. Colors represent your brand's personality and give a visual expression to the feeling, mood or role your brand is trying to evoke.
Make sure the color palette makes sense for the company message and delivers the emotional response that will attract customers. Color schemes will represent a brand for a lifetime, so choosing carefully with dedicated input will be beneficial to long term success.
5. Focus on the Uniqueness of the Brand
Every industry continues to be competitive to stand out in a crowd it's important to embrace the things that make a brand unique. Whether it's the way brand stories and events are told on social media, or a specific catchphrase that a company becomes known for, these elements draw customers in. Whether it is a small business or a multi-million-dollar conglomerate, when there is a definitive voice and style to a brand it appeals to customers.
Case studies from industry insiders have highlighted some tips to keep brand loyalty from fading.
1. Always Deliver
Your customers expect consistent delivery of high-quality products. If this falters even once it can cost a business their customer base. Remaining on top of product and service trends will help keep loyal customers around for the long term.
2. Remain Authentic And Consistent
With a growing need from customers for brands to be transparent in their operation models, it's important to remain authentic in that role. Consistency is also much needed so customers aren't kept guessing on product delivery. Being engaged as much as possible with a customer base will keep them abreast of any changes.
3. Follow Up
Doing a follow-up with customers after a sale or complication is an important step in maintaining brand loyalty. This can be done through email campaigns. The first of which begins with onboarding or initial sign-up. From there, its easy to establish a routine email marketing campaign where the customer feels in the loop.
4. Focus on Customer Service
If something goes wrong with a product or service, the customer wants a resolution without jumping through hoops. Having excellent customer service is a strong way to increase brand loyalty. It starts with answering questions or concerns promptly whether that's over the phone or on social media.
5. Provide Value
The value provided from a company is the difference between customer retention and having loyal customers stray. Always provide something of value that the customer will be drawn to. Understanding the buyer persona is the first step in developing offers of value.
Turning consumers into loyal customers takes substantiated effort. When a predictable strategy is used, it makes the effort a bit easier. Loyalty programs are used to encourage continued purchases. As such, they are one of the most valuable tools when trying to build brand loyalty.
Case studies have shown loyalty programs have generated up to 20% of profits. And 84% of consumers have said they're more likely to stay loyal to a brand who offers incentives like loyalty programs. Around 66% of customer spending behavior is changed based on what a loyalty program offers.
Loyalty programs have encouraged repeat purchases from customers. They will spend up to 67% more on purchases than first time buyers would. A loyalty program also promotes more frequent purchasing.
Over 57% of customers sign up for loyalty programs and rewards programs to receive a discount or extra offer on purchases. Rewards points also influence 37% of customers to join.
For all the benefits that building brand loyalty can have, there are some downsides to it as well.
Brand loyal consumers pay higher prices. They often don't shop with cost in mind, but rather are willing to pay whatever price for a particular brand. This can often shift the demand curve and cause a company to adjust its figures.
Lack of Variety
Because brand loyal customers usually won't purchase alternative products, the variety can stagnate. A brand needs to remain innovative to keep their loyal customers from straying.
Brand tribalism is a negative result when brand loyal consumers start identifying with other brand advocates and exclude those that they don't. When a company does this by seeking out certain profile types at the rejection of others, it can cause a hive mind effect to the detriment of increasing consumer growth.
When built properly, brand loyalty has the ability to increase business growth. to enable this growth to continue long term certain measures need to be put in place.
Leaving a lasting impression on a consumer base will make it easier to develop loyal customers. Meeting customer needs requires having a system in place with a dedicated team that researches these needs. For example, this can be done through social media channels.
Having extraordinary customer service can impact the way a customer sees a brand. Even if they have a problem with a product or service, excellent customer service can keep them loyal by making them feel heard.
Find your brand voice and story
The brand story is important to consumers these days. Generating a feeling of transparency and approachability will have consumers gravitate towards the brand with interest.
Use rewards programs
Case studies have shown that loyalty programs and rewards are incentives that keep customers loyal to a brand. These discount programs offer deals to both new and current customers to initiate a purchase. Brands that give loyal customers perks will see an uptick in sales as they come back for repeat purchases.
Build a brand community
Building brand loyalty starts through certain channels will develop a tight knit community of consumers. These loyal followers will do a lot of work in building the brand name just through word-of-mouth. Keeping the brand community happy will help a brand to remain active long term.
- Brand loyalty is when a customer only makes purchases from a specific brand.
- 84% of consumers are more likely to continue buying from a brand that offers rewards.
- Loyalty programs encourage repeat purchases.
- Over 57% of customers sign up for loyalty programs and rewards programs.
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