It isn’t easy attracting people to your brand and turning them into raving fans. Not only do you have to grab their attention amidst all the clamoring for their business, but you must show them you care about them and their concerns. Brand loyalty can be hard to define and even harder to attain.
In one report, only 9% of consumers reported loyalty to a brand they buy regularly. Capturing the allegiance of the general public is hard. Luckily, inspiring devotion from those who already love your product is much easier.
Building brand loyalty in 2020 requires a look at where consumers are in the current landscape of the world, what they care about and attention to detail. There are 11 things you can do today to improve your standing with clients.
1. Know Your Audience
Your first step to building brand loyalty must be fully understanding who you’re trying to reach. Dig into your website analytics and your internal information on your customers. What is the average age? Do they have particular hobbies? The more you know about them, the better you can meet their needs.
Once you have an idea of the factors most of your core audience has in common, create buyer personas representing your typical customers. Use the personas for anything you do. If you come up with a satisfaction guarantee, run it through the lens of the buyer and how they might react. Gear marketing campaigns to the representation. Always keep your users in mind.
2. Improve Customer Experience
The overall customer experience (CX) helps users feel connected to your brand. Make getting information, ordering and asking questions as easy as possible. From the moment a consumer contacts you, they should intuitively know the next step. Guide them and help them from step one through after the purchase. Make sure anything you offer provides value and reduces friction. An example might be creating a digital app featuring one-tap ordering.
3. Utilize Social Media
The majority of adults online have at least one social media account, and Twitter alone will have 275 million active users by the end of 2020. To build brand loyalty, your presence on any platform must be consistent with your presence on other mediums. However, you can also turn a new customer into a loyal one by thanking them for a review, providing a solution to a complaint or asking for input.
4. Develop Consistency
Just like you need to know who your customers are, you must also know who you are as a brand. Develop a strong mission statement and stick to it no matter where you interact with buyers.
If you have a customer-first policy in your brick-and-mortar stores, you should have the same policy on your e-commerce platform. If you greet customers with a specific greeting in person, use the same hello via live chat. The look, feel and policies should remain the same no matter where customers encounter your business.
5. Find Your UVP
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is what you bring to the table that your competitors don’t. Some brands choose to go with the best price, while others focus on customer service or top quality. Start by studying competitors to see what their UVPs are. Yours must differ. You can certainly match what they’re doing, but you need something unique to stand out. Your customers should say you are the best in a particular area and they’re devoted to you.
6. Offer Incentives
There are around 2.8 billion Google searches every day. Even if a customer buys something from you online, the chances of them remembering the transaction are slim. To stand out from all the noise on the internet, you need some type of incentive program. For example, offer them a discount for a second order or a free item every so many times.
The incentive doesn’t matter as much as offering some perk for repeat business. The more times they order from you, the more likely they remember your company name and order again.
7. Tap Into Influencers
Work with influencers to get the word out about your brand. People tend to trust the recommendations of others over what you say about your company. Choose a social media personality with an audience close to your typical customer. Since they work with different brands, brainstorm ways to get the word out about who you are and what you do.
If you’re lucky, the influencer becomes a rabid fan of your organization. In turn, their followers want to check you out and hopefully become secondary influencers by sharing info on your company with others.
8. Find the Right Emotion
Do you remember the last time a business genuinely understood you? Around 56% of people are loyal to brands they feel get them. The way these companies show they are tuned in is through tapping into the emotions of their customer base.
Think about the pain points of your customers. What is the problem driving them to you for a solution? What is the feeling behind their issue? For example, if they hunt for a new home security system, fear may be what drives them. How can you offer peace of mind?
9. Be Open
If you make a mistake, don’t try covering it up. Instead, be open and honest. Explain what the issue was and how you plan to fix it. You should also describe your plan to avoid the same problem in the future. People are much more likely to stand by a company making a mistake and owning up to it than one deceiving them.
10. Protect Your Contacts
Your customers need to feel their private information is safe with you. Implement security measures and procedures protecting them. Only keep the information you truly need and never share their emails or phone numbers with third-party sources. Laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) require you to have policies in place and actively defend private information.
11. Improve Customer Service
Stellar customer service is the hallmark of a strong brand. You have to go above and beyond if you want clients to remember you and remain loyal. Start with a policy and then train all your staff. Send live agents to training on how to handle an irate customer. Find solutions to simulated scenarios. Give your workers the freedom to come up with creative answers.
Show your customers you appreciate their business. Phone them to see if they’re happy with their purchase, and send them a card on their birthday. Find unique ways of interacting and engaging your audience.
Build Trust and Loyalty
A big part of building brand loyalty is showing your customers you are worthy of their trust. Provide strong incentives for them to stick around, and they’re likely to become ambassadors, sharing your name with others. Creating an image of reliability takes time and attention to detail. If your numbers aren’t where you’d like at first, keep trying. See brand loyalty as a marathon rather than a sprint. Over time, you’ll gain a following and build word-of-mouth business.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner