Today’s consumers are spoilt for choice. Pick any industry, and you’ll find plenty of brands offering similar products and services, if not the same thing. While there are some exceptions, such as Tesla’s self-driving electric cars, it’s only a matter of time before the competition catches up (and they’re not far behind).
One of the few things that truly sets companies apart (not including the price) is their branding and customer loyalty.
What is brand loyalty?
Brand loyalty is a magical marketing buzzword that people love to hear, even if they’re unsure what it means.
Essentially, brand loyalty is when customers purchase something from the same company multiple times and view the company in a positive light.
In other words, they believe the company has great attributes, such as reputation, or kindness, and voluntarily return.
If you want to take it one step further, it’s when they keep purchasing, KNOWING there are better alternatives.
Why is brand loyalty crucial?
When a company creates an audience with strong brand loyalty, they don’t need to convince them to buy their products or heavily market it towards them. They’re already enjoying the products or services and will continue to choose them over any competition with similar stuff.
If you want examples of brand loyalty, look no further than these companies:
Nike – there are lots of alternative sportswear companies offering similar products
Apple – similar to Nike, there are many competitors providing smartphones, laptops, and smartwatches, much cheaper as well
Starbucks – are they the only coffee shop in town?
How do groups like the above generate such high levels of customer and brand loyalty? Let’s look at some of the crucial methods companies are using:
Without a doubt, your brand needs to provide some kind of value to your customers to keep them coming back. It also needs to be a value that they’re looking for in a brand, not just something you’ve randomly chosen.
Your ‘wow’ factor doesn’t have to be something tangible like a fantastic product. It can be your price, deals, friendly customer service, smooth and intuitive app experience, etc.
Learn what makes your customers satisfied and set out to blow away their expectations to help develop your brand loyalty.
Connect and engage with your customers
Social media platforms have helped brands connect and engage with their customers on a whole new level.
If you’re not talking to them, you’re missing out on being able to create a community that’s bound together. If there’s one thing people love, it’s being part of a group that has the same interests and likes.
Using platforms like Facebook and Instagram lets you curate your image and post messages and content that engage your audience. It doesn’t have only to be market stuff like deals and offers, but essential information, how-to guides, tips, or even an inside look into your business.
Encourage your audience, get them to take part in conversations, and share what they like/dislike about your brand to improve your branding and grow your loyal audience.
Create your brand voice
A brand voice is how you chat with your audience. I used the word chat to highlight the importance of using a tone of voice that’s approachable to your customers.
No one likes to read posts or ads filled with jargon and meaningless buzzwords. Create a personality for your brand and inject it into all of your communications, no matter how big or small they may be. It all adds together to help create an image for your brand.
And guess what, if it doesn’t resonate with your audience, they won’t want to be loyal.
Create a dazzling logo
One of the things all great brands have in common is an incredible logo that perfectly represents the brand character, helps it get noticed, and is a sign of respect.
There’s a lot of different logotypes you can use for your brand:
- Wordmark – the name of your brand
- Monogram – the initials of your brand
- Icon – a picture or abstract image
- Combo – a combination of one or more, such as a wordmark with an icon
Color also plays a vital role as it can evoke feelings or even change your audience’s mood.
There are many ways to invest in an eye-catching logo. You might opt for a logo maker, or hire a professional designer. You may even try to design the logo yourself with editing software like Adobe Illustrator.
Whichever option you choose, bear in mind each has its own advantages and disadvantages and choose an option that fits your budget.
Accept and take on board feedback
One of the biggest mistakes marketers makes is assuming that their customer thinks as they do.
Which is why it’s important to listen to any and all feedback from your audience. Collecting their comments will also better help you understand your own products and messaging’s pros and cons, which will only serve to strengthen your brand in the long run.
There are many different ways you can garner feedback from customers, such as pop-ups, sending out surveys, or even starting an open discussion on one of your social media channels.
Create an incentive
To help boost your brand loyalty, and keep customers coming back to your store or website, create a rewards program or loyalty program.
You can offer increased discounts or coupons for repeat customers and even reward them for recommending you to others.
Don’t forget to email your customers a nice birthday greeting or best wishes for the holidays to remind them you’re still thinking about them and hope they return.
Creating incentives for your customers is sure to help them come back. You can also set up an automatic email funnel to guide your customers from start to finish, or get back in touch with customers you haven’t seen for a while.
One of the most important takeaways from this entire article is how you must maintain consistency throughout all of your branding. Your customers should see, read, and hear the same colors, tone of voice, and messaging.
Doing so helps to strengthen your overall branding and increase brand loyalty.
You shouldn’t underestimate the impact brand loyalty can have on your audience. They’ll be more likely to buy from you and recommend you to friends and family.
Brand loyalty will also help keep your company in business and sustain it so you can grow.
Whenever you see some awesome branding from both big and small companies, write down what it is that caught your eye, or caused you to suddenly think of them in a positive light and see if you can use it for yourself or something similar.
About the Author
This article was written by Abhisek Roy.