Increasing brand loyalty has always been important in business. After all, no brand wants to lose customers. So building loyalty programs became popular to reward people for sticking with a brand.
But brand loyalty is so much more than rewards or discounts. It is a direct indicator of a brand’s connection with its customers.
Just take a look at Starbucks. Their customer loyalty goes far beyond gifting free drinks every now and then. They have built a community so emotionally connected with the brand’s products, values, and ethos that they became what they are today.
In this article, you will find what brand loyalty is, why it’s important, its benefits, and the best things you can do to build brand loyalty that lasts.
What is brand loyalty?
The first step to building brand loyalty is knowing exactly what it is.
Brand loyalty is when consumers prefer a brand over any other repeatedly. Meaning that they will make repeat purchases of products or services from the same brand without being heavily marketed.
Brand loyalty can be obtained through:
- Great products
- Great user experience
- Unique brand voice
- Rewards program
- Community building
Among other methods.
Why is brand loyalty important
Customers are a powerful growth driving force for businesses.
Having loyal customers is not only about customer retention, but it also opens the door to increased awareness and sales.
These are some of the benefits of brand loyalty:
65% of a brand’s business comes from existing customers.
For many businesses, current customers are the ones bringing in the most income. That is because loyal customers are characterized by making repeat purchases.
Someone who really likes your product can even go as far as buying it multiple times per week.
Obviously, it depends on the products or services you offer. For a coffee brand, it could be a daily purchase. For a brand like Apple, it can be a purchase per year.
The important thing is that those customers keep coming back for more.
A study from Harvard Business School shows that increasing customer retention by a rate of only 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
The point is that by increasing brand loyalty, your current customers are encouraged to keep purchasing from your brand, increasing sales.
Awareness and referrals
People like to talk about great brand experiences. Whether it’s online or offline, if your customers have a reason to be loyal, then a portion of them will talk about you in a positive light.
These recommendations don’t even have to be incentivized by the brand. Many times, people do it because they genuinely want others to enjoy the products as well.
Increasing brand awareness and referrals.
All thanks to improving the relationship between the brand and consumers.
How to increase brand loyalty
As we mentioned before, there are many marketing tactics that brands can implement to drive brand loyalty. In this section, we will explore the ones that are most effective.
Recommended: 5 Ways To Build Brand Loyalty In 2021
Build a brand community
A brand community plays a bigger role in brand loyalty than many people expect. And that’s because companies are used to traditional advertising methods that aren’t as effective anymore.
There needs to be a mindset shift into a people-first mentality.
These days, consumers want to be part of a community. They want a unique and genuine experience that speaks to them on a personal level.
A great community behind a brand can make the difference between choosing you or the competition.
People can stop supporting brands even if they like the products when they don’t feel connected.
More than buying products, they want to support the brands that feel authentic.
80% of consumers say that authenticity of content will influence them to follow a brand.
How can you build a brand community?
There are many factors for building a successful brand community such as:
- Creating content that speaks to your audience
- Encouraging user generated content
But the most effective way is through a brand ambassador program
With a brand ambassador program your brand can:
- Increase brand loyalty
- Build a strong brand community
- Create a scalable & low-cost CAC channel
- Enhance your content strategy
- Harness the power of Word of Mouth
- Get valuable feedback
If you have an ambassador program, or you’re looking to know more, be sure to check out our eBook Building a Successful Ambassador Program For Your Brand.
There, you will be able to find everything you need to know to start and grow a brand ambassador program that gives you results.
Recommended: Building, growing, and optimizing a brand community can be challenging tasks without the proper guidance, so check out our ultimate guide for brand community building.
Provide great user experience
Improving your user experience involves taking a look at every interaction users have with your brand and detecting weak spots.
Maybe there are too many steps to acquire a product or service from your site, or you aren’t offering enough customer service channels.
These types of processes get improved constantly and consumers get used to those standards.
So it should be a priority to provide great customer service not only to increase brand loyalty, but to not lose them.
33% of American consumers say they will think about switching companies after a single instance of poor service.
Basically, a brand could lose a third of its customers due to bad user experience.
Rewards programs are a direct way to incentivize brand loyalty and repeat purchases.
How do rewards programs work?
A brand creates a points system, so that every time a customer purchases a product they earn points. When they get a certain amount of points they are eligible for a reward.
This is how most rewards programs operate, but you have to remember that for people to participate they need to like your products already.
No one will go through the trouble of buying several products they dislike just to get a free product they dislike.
Starbucks is a great example of a company with a successful rewards program.
Final thoughts on brand loyalty
Brand loyalty is one of those things that can take your brand to the moon. This is why we are making such an emphasis on building a community to increase brand loyalty.
While directly incentivizing repeat purchases is a great way to go about it, there are many things you can do to take it to the next level.
With a well-established brand community, people will want to support the brand even without a rewards program.
That motivation to support you is a powerful growth driver.
Use the tips we shared in this article and take your brand loyalty to the next level.