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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
In the business world, the competition is as high as it gets. Simply attracting the attention of customers or potential customers isn’t enough to ensure a brand’s survival or its good reputation. Marketers are always looking for ways to improve their strategy and truly encourage customers to fully commit to the brand. However, that’s no easy task because a lot of other brands out there are trying to do the same and customers find it difficult to choose the right brand, the one which suits them best.
This is where feelings come into play. Appealing to their emotions in the right way can ensure a whole different level of customer loyalty rather than just simple customer satisfaction. Emotional connection to the brand ensures customer engagement and devotion, which won’t fade even if some other brand offers a slightly better product or service. Here are a few things you should know about the connection between emotional branding and customer loyalty.
Every marketer’s mission is to ensure the survival of the brand. With the competition being so high, it’s difficult to gain a reputation. However, making sure that the customers have an emotional connection to the brand, vastly improves your odds of survival. When people are emotionally attached to a brand they immediately improve its reputation by staying loyal to it.
What is more, emotionally engaged customers will always pick your brand over any other, even if there are imperfections in your business operations. Moreover, loyal customers eventually become the brand’s endorser and constantly promote it through word-of-mouth recommendations. This type of loyalty improves a brand’s reputation and inspires more customers to engage with your company.
Customer satisfaction is important to any brand and it’s vital for their reputation. However, simply having your clients satisfied with your products and services isn’t always enough for them to connect with your brand on an emotional level. The quality you provide is already expected by the customers and if you want them to bond with your brand and become loyal, you’ll have to go a step further.
That means giving your customers something unique that will differentiate your brand from others, as well as something that will spark emotions within your target audience. For instance, your brand needs to have a unique persona that will stand out in the minds of your clients. That persona is the gateway for establishing a relationship with your customers and encouraging them to emotionally bond with your brand. This includes everything from your brand’s message and mission, your visual identity, all the way to unique features of your products and how you communicate with your clientele.
You should never stray from your brand’s mission and message. Your clients enjoy consistency and that you’re staying true to what your brand stands for. However, if you want to nurture your customer relationship and form an emotional bond, you’ll have to go above and beyond their normal expectations. For example, honesty and trust are important to women customers, while men want to know that they’ve made the right decision when they chose your brand. Therefore, if you want to evoke emotions in your customers, you should exceed their expectations.
For instance, you guarantee the quality of your product or service through the brand’s message, enough for people to know you’re trustworthy. Putting some extra effort into making sure your customers are happy leads to loyalty.
Consistency is key for delivering your brand’s message and convincing your customers that you’re not just talking the talk but also walking the walk. Once you’ve established an emotional connection between your customers and your brand, you shouldn’t stop trying. Instead, you must stay consistent and nurture that connection at all times.
It’s important to remember that the loyalty that comes from an emotional bond is the strongest type of loyalty and maintaining it is vital to the brand’s reputation and its long lasting continuation. Moreover, your brand should strive to keep up with the customers, as well as with their demands and expectations. Make sure you’re following the latest trends so that you can prepare in advance and meet the needs of the market.
Emotional branding is the best way to ensure the loyalty of your customers. It’s not about what business you’re in or what your products and services are. It’s about how you present your brand and how your customers perceive it. Having an in-depth understanding of your customers will help you create a strategy that will spark an emotional connection between them and your brand.
As a working mom, you understand just as well as anyone that there are too few hours in the day to waste your time and energy on anyone or anything that isn’t worthwhile. When you apply this mantra to the businesses you patronize, you create a framework for how to treat your own customers to create greater brand loyalty. Here’s how:
When a customer calls a business to deal with an issue, they want to see their problem resolved in as little time as possible. But, if they forced to speak with representatives from multiple departments, this can make a “quick” phone call take 45 minutes or longer. Believe you me: No one wants to wait on hold and explain the issue to each representative to whom they’ve been transferred.
You can help build loyalty with your customers by streamlining your customer service process to take as little time as possible. To do this, start by using a cloud contact center to manage all of your company information so that customer service representatives can easily input and access customer notes across multiple channels (live chat, email, phone and social media support).
In addition, avoid having customer service representatives read excessively wordy scripts. Instead, get straight to the point by encouraging direct communication that’s tailored to each individual customer.
Use the Golden Rule to retain your customers and attract new business at the same time. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
If you have a brick and mortar location, host a mom’s night out shopping event. You may also want to offer guests wine, hors d’oeuvres and desserts to make the event feel extra special and encourage guests to buy more.
Treating customers as you’d want to be treated starts with treating your employees in a similar manner. Plus, boosting team morale can bolster customer loyalty, because a happy employee treats customers better than a disgruntled one.
Get real with your team member and ask them for suggestions about how to improve your workplace. What would make each team member happier to go to work each day? Ask what types of perks or benefits employees wish you offered and work to add some of these to your team.
It’s also helpful to randomly do nice things for your team, such as ordering in lunch for everyone, cutting out an hour early on a Friday, and treating everyone to happy hour or simply bringing in bagels and coffee one morning. A little extra effort can go a long way in showing your team that you care.
When a customer identifies an issue they have with your product, it’s critical that he or she feels heard by your customer service reps and that a resolution is eventually reached to retain brand loyalty. But the next steps are equally as crucial to the loyalty of your customers. So, be sure that when a product issue arises, instruct your team to get to the root of the problem in order to prevent this issue from happening again.
Having a great product isn’t enough to compete anymore in today’s market. Nine out of ten marketers now regard customer experience as the key competitive differentiator, even outranking factors as important as price and quality. Today’s independent retailer needs to cultivate a reputation for stellar customer experience in order to attract shoppers away from competitors and build brand loyalty. Here are four steps you can take to improve your customers’ experience in order to meet and exceed their expectations, keep them coming back for repeat business and make them want to tell their friends to buy what you sell.
Companies such as Nike have pioneered the successful use of mass personalization, where customers can select from digital options in order to choose customized products. Experts see mass personalization as the future of retail, but many companies have yet to catch on. Digital marketing provider Lyris has found that only 24 percent of marketers use personal information they receive from customers in order to customize the value they deliver. Meanwhile, over 70 percent of customers feel jaded because they are used to receiving impersonal marketing offers.
You can stand out from competitors who haven’t yet caught on to mass personalization by making efforts to customize your selection for individual customers. If your product line lends itself, you can follow Nike’s strategy of enabling customers to choose custom selections. For instance, jewelry retailer Argos uses 3-D printing to allow customers to choose personalized rings, earrings, pendants and bangles.
Marketing offers can also be personalized for individual customers. For example, Amazon does this by suggesting products to customers based on items they have previously purchased and based on items bought by other customers who purchased or browsed the same things. In a similar way, your web designer can set up your website to display customized selections based on customer browsing and purchase history.
Another way to extend personalized offers is to use mobile location marketing techniques. For example, you can geotarget all customers in a certain area with an offer specific to their location.
Another customer experience technique Amazon has used to great success is offering free shipping through its Amazon Prime program. This program has been so successful that the entire retail calendar has been restructured around Amazon’s annual Prime Day sale. Depending on your product, free shipping for special customers might make sense for your company as well. RJMetrics contributor Anna Kegler provides a formula you can use to figure out where your free shipping price threshold should be based on your company’s order history and your products’ price points.
Another way to enhance your customers’ experience is to provide the customer service channels they prefer. You can dramatically improve your customers’ satisfaction as well as your efficiency by offering self-service options using tools such as online knowledge bases to answer FAQs. Seventy-two percent of American consumers prefer self-service to traditional support channels, Forrester found.
Live chat is another channel that can boost customer satisfaction. A Zendesk study found that live chat achieved a 92 percent customer satisfaction rate, which is higher than any other channel.
Self-service and live chat can improve your customers’ experience, but for optimal experience, you should also offer live phone service options. Being unable to get a hold of a live human on the phone is Americans’ biggest customer service complaint. Offering a 1-800 number is an easy way to make your customers happier with you and complain about your competitors instead.
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 their 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 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.
In these fast-paced days of instant information you may be looking for effective ways to connect with your client and build a loyal base for your company. The following 4 ways will help you encourage loyal, long-time clients, and a satisfying connection between yourself and your base.
The one thing you can almost guarantee is that everyone wants to have a voice. Give your clients an authentic way to express their needs and wants. Try giving an exit survey to clients who have decided to shop elsewhere. Ask them upfront about what they expect in an organization like yours. Taking five minutes to give you feedback can provide actionable data with which you can tweak your product or service.
If you do happen to get a complaint, practice active listening. Try to really hear what your client is frustrated about. Paraphrase it back and, most importantly, offer a solution. The words, “I see why you’re frustrated because you waited 30 minutes for your order. I’d like to make this right for you. How about a gift card for next time?” can go a long way to increase the changes frustrated clients will return.
Offer a loyalty system that’s easy to use. A punch card with a small reward after 10 visits is an easy way to encourage repeated business. You might also try a business card drawing for free lunch. By offering rewards you are telling your customers that you sincerely care about them and are looking forward to their return.
You can use any of these great tools:
Encourage your staff to handle customer service like pros. There’s several approaches you can take to building a staff who truly values customer interaction. Hold your own staff competition to see who can convert the most first time customers to repeated business.
Additionally, always have customer service as a top priority. Offer trainings, information, and reward systems to your staff based on customer service. Draw attention to what they do that works, like truly listening or learning the names of your repeated clients.
Engaging with social media is quick and easy for anyone with a smart phone. People love to see quick stories, pictures, and relevant articles posted on the Instagram and Facebook pages of the shops they love. Be sure to have a high quality internet presence that includes your location and easy directions, similar to this website of Pickleman’s Gourmet Sandwiches. To take it one step further you could also client polls or write-in questions to keep your client base interacting on a long-term basis with your company.
Following these easy suggestions can help you build an excellent, long-term, loyal client base that will propel your business forward for years to come.
Apple won Interbrand’s Best Global Brand ranking for the third year in a row this month. The ranking factors in financial performance, impact on customer choice and ability to command a premium price. Not coincidentally, Apple also leads this year in the laptop, smartphone and tablet categories of Brand Keys’ Consumer Loyalty Engagement Index.
What makes customers like some brands more than others? A closer look at leading brands reveals some qualities that smaller companies can emulate.
Apple maintains a 90 percent brand retention rate, research shows. How do they do it? One is Apple’s history of successful firsts. While Apple did not invent the first MP3 player, smartphone, or tablet, it pioneered the release of successful products in each of these markets. Apple also sets out to design and make better products, and won’t enter a market unless it feels it can outdo the competition. Taken together, these qualities have established Apple’s reputation as a leader, and people follow leaders. One lesson for smaller companies is to do what you do best in order to outpace the competition in your customers’ eyes.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson says the key to delivering superior customer service is setting realistic customer expectations and then exceeding them. One company that has excelled at this is Amazon, which won Brand Keys’ Customer Loyalty Engagement Index ranking in the online retailer category. Amazon’s customer service has not only set customer expectations, but now sets the rules for what customers expect.
Amazon has achieved this firstly by paying close attention to customer data and what customers want. This customer awareness starts from the top down, with CEO Jeff Bezos regularly reading customer emails. On a company-wide scale, Amazon gathers large volumes of customer data from transactions and uses analytics tools to process this information.
Amazon then leverages this data by delivering what customers want in such key areas as speed, selection, service and competitive pricing. Companies can emulate Amazon in these areas by paying attention to their performance in these areas. For instance, can your customers order with one click or phone call?
Customer expectations center around emotional engagement, another key to getting customers to like you. The NFL is a brand that has mastered the art of creating emotional excitement, walking away with a victory in Brand Key’s major league sports category.
Brand Keys’ analysis of individual NFL team loyalty rankings, led by the Patriots, Packers and Seahawks, identifies the qualities that go into the NFL’s success recipe. These include history and tradition, fan bonding, entertainment and authentic team performance. The NFL reinforces these qualities and engages fans emotionally by promoting events such as its annual Thanksgiving Day games, which bring tradition, family bonding and entertainment together in an emotionally charged, competitive environment. The NFL sums up these elements in its current ad campaign with the slogan, “Football Is Family.”
Game-day excitement spills over onto fan discussions on sites such as Dish’s The Dig, which in turn fuels fan emotional engagement. Smaller businesses may not be able to whip up the level of excitement generated by a game-winning turnover, but you can still tap into your customers’ feelings by treating them as family in the service you deliver.
A quality that ties all the above customer loyalty elements together is how well a brand delivers customer experience. The success of Starbucks, which tied Dunkin’ Donuts in Brand Keys’ out-of-home coffee category this year, illustrates the centrality of customer experience. Sure, Starbucks has a ubiquitous presence and high-quality coffee, but what really sets Starbucks apart is the experience of going to Starbucks. Smaller companies should focus on improving the experience they deliver to boost the likability of your brand.
If you have had a website for some time now and all you have proceeded to do is nonsense marketing in hopes of becoming “rich” you are in for a rough ride from a branding standpoint. The search engines are not what they once were back in the day where you could sit around and do directory submissions all day and generate rankings rather quickly. Those days are long gone and if you are still looking for black hat measures and corner cutting link building activities than your website’s brand might be the equivalent of a pig playing in the mud. It could be time to clean things up.
People like to feel like they are a part of something or part of a story. It doesn’t matter whether you sell underwear or automobiles brand loyalty is strong when it comes to web brands and websites receiving attention from online traffic. Rankings are important but they are not the only rodeo in town. At this point rankings are like an ice cream topper and your flavor is the brand. What does your flavor taste like? Bazaarvoice had this little piece of consumer shopping behavior that I found intresting:
“The average consumer mentions specific brands over 90 times per week in conversations with friends, family, and co-workers. (Keller Fay, WOMMA, 2010)” The power of speech and influence also come along with maintaining a strong brand online. “In a study conducted by social networking site myYearbook, 81 percent of respondents said they’dreceived advice from friends and followers relating to a product purchase through a social site;74 percent of those who received such advice found it to be influential in their decision. (Click Z, January 2010)”
For starters you have to quickly change your way of thinking when it comes to marketing your website online. Building up a good strong brand that others will follow requires a specific mind set. It’s time to take the pig out of the mud and give it a bath. I would recommend doing some clean up first by installing Google Webmaster Tools and analyzing your links to see what surely needs to go. You don’t want any horrendous links pointing to your website if you plan on growing your website into the future.
Take a look at your website and update the look if you haven’t touched for years. Start writing newsworthy press releases on your business and position yourself as an expert in the industry. Treat your website like a business! Look at other leaders in your space and look at what kind of approach they are taking to build their brands online. Start building up your social community one day at a time. Have a voice in your industry and make sure that voice is heard because eventually people will turn their heads to listen to what you have to say.