Brand loyalty is the reason you routinely pick a particular brand of peanut butter over the many lined up on the shelf. It’s the reason you end up at your favorite coffee shop even after promising yourself you would try something new today. The main reason behind these ‘default choices’ is that you associate that particular peanut butter or that cafe with something positive. A connection that’s not quite there with other brands.
Brand loyalty that works will keep customers coming back even when competing products come with new and improved features or even at a lower price. It’s because, beyond filling your stomach, that peanut butter feels like an irreplaceable part of your morning. If your product unfailingly satisfies a particular emotional need, people will keep buying it no matter what. They will likely spread the word about it whether you ask them to or not.
This is why big brands like Apple, Adidas, and Sony invest millions of dollars in developing messaging that resonates with the feelings and aspirations of consumers, inspiring loyalty across generations. It’s not just the messaging that keeps customers returning to those brands; it’s the actual and perceived value consumers derive from them.
Finding out what makes their target market tick is a big part of establishing brand loyalty. You need to get a good grasp of what influences the habits of your customers as a business owner. You also need to make sure they can count on you for impeccable service.
Poor Branding Loyalty Practices
Having noted what works for the big brands in keeping their customers loyal, it’s worth knowing what doesn’t. A recent study showed that the average American household actively participates in less than half of the loyalty programs they’re signed up to. If you don’t want your investment in loyalty programs ending in the wrong half of that study, you need to avoid the following practices:
- Loyalty systems where customers have to go to extraneous lengths to earn meager points that don’t amount to real value. Points systems that are difficult for customers to understand and leave buyers feeling cheated will put your loyalty program at risk of being dumped.
- The only thing worse than a loyalty points system with seemingly unattainable rewards is one accompanied by poor customer service. Attendants handling customers’ queries about the loyalty program discourteously, disinterestedly or with as much confusion as the customers will increase the program’s chances of turning into a dud.
- A loyalty program riddled with technical issues is an easy turn-off for any potential takers. If your customers consistently find a 404 error whenever they log into the portal that updates their loyalty points, they will abandon the program. They could go as far as boycotting your brand in protest.
- If your loyalty program doesn’t offer you a tangible way of tracking your customer’s habits and preferences, it may not be worth investing in at all.
Hacks To Build Strong Brand Loyalty
Hacks to build strong brand loyalty are open secrets that have been around for as long as the commerce industry. They include:
First, you need to develop a strong brand identity, a collection of positive values you want your customers and the world at large to associate with your business. With this in place, it will be easy to identify brand ambassadors who will help affirm your products’ ability to deliver on those values.
Next, you need to ensure that your brand delivers on its promise. Strive to meet and exceed the expectations of your potential customers on every level; from the quality of the product to post-sale service.
The internet can be a good ally in helping you gain and cement brand loyalty within your target market. How your products are presented on your website, the information offered about them, and how easy it is to check out. All these factors go a long way in encouraging or discouraging brand loyalty. Ensuring visitors a seamless shopping experience will boost their desire to return.
Engaging your target audience in a savvy manner on social media can help you build on people’s positive experiences when interacting with your brand. Reputable marketing agencies in NYC can help you find a social voice that best reflects your brand values and resonates with your market niche.
Giving your brand a solid local grounding will boost your target market’s desire to be connected to it. This is why some brands reflect the colors of their countries or create clever slogans in the local language. It is also why Nike picks high-profile athletes to be its ambassadors in different communities.
Have Values and Live up to Them
Creating brand loyalty must always begin with coming up with a brand identity, a promise that you give to anyone who interacts with your products. You then need to give 110 percent in seeing that you deliver on these values all the time. This is half the brand loyalty battle won.