In an age where consumers have access to endless products and services that can be delivered with the touch of a button, brand loyalty is becoming harder and harder to establish.
With so many options on the market, how can your brand ensure that customers keep coming back for more? How can you convert the casual customer into a committed customer that not only loves your brand, but will actively advocate for it?
Below are five of the most effective ways for your brand to build a greater sense of loyalty with your community this year.
Engage & Build Relationships With Your Customers
Social media is a great resource to interact with customers and create a sense of community. Consider the role that your brand community plays in regard to your mission and values. How can that be implemented into an existing strategy? This can mean creating new ways for consumers to connect with the brand across social platforms, or starting meaningful conversations within the community. Establishing a dedicated community of brand ambassadors provides you with real people who will promote you to their inner circle, helping your brand reach new audiences and build trust with your customers organically.
The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 principle) suggests that just 20% of your customers will account for 80% of profits. By nurturing relationships with customers that already love your brand, you can keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Understand Your Customers
While any customer can simply stumble upon your company, in order to build brand loyalty and ensure returning customers, it is important to understand their likes, wants, tendencies, and fears.
Here are a few factors to consider:
- How did they find your company?
- Why did they purchase from your company over competitors?
- What role does your brand play in these customers’ lives?
- What type of content do they respond best to?
These questions help fuel a deeper understanding of your customer base which can be used to form buyer personas and establish a proper target market. Encouraging customer feedback is often a strong way to gain perspective and understand the ways in which your company provides value to them.
What value can your company provide to not only new customers, but repeat customers? The loyalty of your customers is invaluable, so offering incentives to return is a strong way to ensure that lasting relationships remain intact. You can provide value through a number of means:
- Create a loyalty program that offers returning customers discounts
- Include free shipping for loyal customers
- Offer personalized customer service
Capitalize on the value that attracted your customers in the first place by offering a sense of appreciation to those that believed in your business.
Why are consumers so loyal to brands like Apple, Starbucks, and Amazon? Beyond cost and efficiency, consistency plays a fairly large role. Consumers love to know exactly what they are buying and that what they buy will be just as good as the time before. Ensuring consistency goes a long way, establishing trust in your company to deliver consistent quality. The old saying goes “under promise and over deliver” and your customers will always be left satisfied.
Beyond consistency in your product or service itself, it is also paramount to ensure consistency within your brand. Have you established a clear and cohesive brand identity? Does your content align with your overall mission and the message you would like to send to consumers? Creating a coherent image of your brand increases overall visibility and provides a sense of comfort for your customers.
Especially in the age of social media, it is imperative to stay on trend and relevant. Trends are constantly changing, so staying in front of them will give your company a competitive advantage. Keep an eye on the competitors in your industry as a way to stay informed on new trends before it’s too late. A little over a year ago, TikTok was far from a household name. Now, TikTok has 30 million monthly users in the US alone and has emerged as an extremely effective way to reach consumers and collect user generated content from brand fans.
Another growing trend is community-based values in marketing. More and more brands are marketing through their customers, establishing dedicated brand ambassador communities and influencer campaigns. Consumers are increasingly placing their trust in individuals rather than the brand themselves, making both ambassadors and influencers valuable tools in the ever changing marketing landscape. In fact, 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions. Ambassador communities can increase traffic to your website, humanize your brand, and reach customers on an intimate level.
With so many options on the market, brand loyalty is increasingly harder to find. However, that does not mean it’s not achievable. When it comes to building trust, having a dedicated brand community that aligns with your mission is an invaluable tool. Take time to cultivate a community that will reinforce your values. By delivering consistency and transparency, your company can work towards establishing a strong relationship with your customers that will keep them coming back for more.