Brand building is a very complex process that has to be seamlessly planned and executed. One of the most important steps of this process is creating brand loyalty. Brands can exist only if they have an army of loyal customers to support them. In today’s competitive market, acquiring customers is tough, while keeping them is quite an achievement. Here are several strategies that will win loyalty to the brand and prevent your customers from defecting to the competition.
Defining and creating a brand narrative is an essential step in brand building and encouraging customer loyalty. You need to tell your customers a compelling story that they can relate to. It’s important to give a personal touch to your brand and show your customers how your products and services can help them solve a particular problem they have or improve the quality of their life. Your brand should reflect certain essential core values of your target audience, and storytelling is an excellent vehicle for developing a brand identity with which they’ll be able to establish a strong emotional bond.
Before the era of social media, one of the most important marketing forms was word of mouth. Nowadays, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have taken its place. The results of a Nielsen survey show that 83% all over the world believe the recommendations they get from friends and family, and this fact best illustrates how immense the potential of social media as a WOMM tool is. It’s very important to communicate with your customers through various channels. That way you’ll get a valuable insight into their needs and you’ll give them the opportunity to have their say and express their opinion about your products.
One of the main reasons why customers turn their backs on certain companies is bad customer support. White House Office of Consumer Affairs says that it is 6 or 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one. If we bear in mind another stat according to which 59% of 25-34 year-olds share their poor customer experiences online, it’s clear that you need stellar customer support if you want to have loyal customers. Welcome your customers after the initial contact, thank them after their first purchase, or offer them any assistance they may need. Don’t underestimate the power of follow-up.
Lots of potential business opportunities are lost because of the lack of follow-up. Besides purely financial benefits, this strategy is also great for strengthening your bond with your customers. Another great method is letting your customers know when their warranty is about to expire, or when they’ll need a refill.
It’s always a nice touch to reward your customers with loyalty programs. Various methods can be used to show your customers that you’re thankful. For example, some companies use a simple point system which means that whenever they make a purchase, customers earn points which are later translated into some kind of reward. Another good example is giving loyal customers early access to a new product or a feature. In other words, make them feel special and appreciate their loyalty.
People love freebies. There are several good things about giving out free stuff to your customers. For one thing, it’s an excellent method of creating a buzz about your products or services, as well as promoting your brand. Have your brand’s logo printed on T-shirts, baseball caps, pens, or organizers. Just imagine the effects of creatively designed custom mugs if we have in mind the fact that people will be using them on a daily basis. This great marketing tool can be used in virtually any industry.
Trust goes both ways. If you want to build a relationship of trust and loyalty with your customers, you need to give them something that will make them feel valued and respected. Discounts and special offers are considered to be among the most valuable gestures that invoke customer loyalty. People tend to stick with brands that don’t shrink from generously reducing their prices. Provide your customers with added value by extending their warranty or offer them two-for-the-price-of-one deals and they’ll surely appreciate that. And don’t forget that people will spread the word online, and your efforts will be rewarded with spontaneous referrals.
If you want loyal customers you need to live up to their expectations as well as your promises. Consistency is your most powerful weapon for combating customer churn. If your customers are satisfied with your service and the quality of what you’re offering they won’t have a reason to look for something else. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your competition and be aware of what they’re offering in order to be able to be one step ahead.
Apply at least some of these strategies and win your customers’ loyalty.