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Building Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is a too often overlooked goal for companies, but it is also the one thing they need to succeed. As much as 65 percent of most brand revenue comes from repeat business. People find things they love and stick with them. They also recommend the things they love to everyone they know. Your goal isn’t just to bring them to the door but to get them back again and again.

Brand loyalty isn’t a given, though, even if you have the best product on the market. It’s something you have to work for and build. It takes effort and strategy. With it, new customers will come on their own with the help of a little word-of-mouth marketing. What does it take to build brand loyalty?

What Is Brand Loyalty?

What is brand loyalty?

Brand loyalty means a customer feels a certain dedication to a brand. As a result, they look for that company’s products before buying something else. You could define brand loyalty as a marriage between functionality and connectivity. Your products must serve a purpose, and your brand must connect with your target audience. When you do, you create personal relationships with customers that last. Those relationships lead to more customers as they talk about your brand and how much they love it.

Some people will only get their jeans from the Gap, their fries from McDonald’s, and their produce from the local farmer’s market. They feel a sense of loyalty to these places, and if they have to go somewhere else, it’s just not the same.

Brand loyalty means they will shop for your products or services even if they can get a discount elsewhere. They pick you even if they have to drive the extra mile to find what you offer. They feel a personal connection with the brand.

They also tell others about how great you are and that they should try your brand; they sing your praises to the weird guy at the grocery store, to their mother-in-law at Sunday dinner, and on social media.

Is Brand Loyalty the Same as Customer Loyalty?

They sound alike and are often used interchangeably, but some marketing experts separate them. For example, brand loyalty is when a buyer always comes back for your products. They look for them wherever they go.

Customer loyalty means they pick your brand because it offers the lowest prices or has a great discount program. They go to the same grocery store, not because they have a connection to it, but because it’s close by and convenient.

Brand loyalty is more like a marriage. Customer loyalty is when you ask that one person to prom because you know they will say yes. For practical purposes, though, they are the same thing.

Degrees of Brand Loyalty

Degrees of Brand Loyalty

Like all relationships, there are different levels of brand loyalty.

Brand Recognition

Brand recognition means you see this brand as the top of the line. You associate certain products with that brand. An excellent example of this is Apple. When people hear Apple, they think of innovative electronics. That is true whether they buy their products or not. The brand has made an impression.

Brand Preference

This consumer will look for your brand first but settle for another if it is not there. For instance, maybe you have a hankering for a burger. You don’t see a McDonalds in the area, but there is a Burger King. It’s not your first choice, but it will do. If you see the two side by side, you are definitely hitting the McDonald’s drive-in.

Brand Insistence

This consumer will not settle for anything less. This is the ultimate loyalty. They will drive across town to find a McDonalds and pick something else if they can’t find one closer. If they are going to have a burger, it will come from McDonalds. Otherwise, they are getting tacos instead.

How Important is Brand Loyalty?

How Important is Brand Loyalty?

Arguably, building brand loyalty is the most crucial part of any marketing strategy. Let’s look at some statistics that prove this point, according to Fortunly.

  • The chance of selling a product to a customer increases by up to 70 percent if they are loyal to the brand.
  • Ninety-seven percent of consumers in the U.S. say they are loyal to the brands they love.
  • Even a small increase in brand loyalty comes with long-term benefits. For instance, the lifetime value of a customer can rise by 85 percent.
  • Profitability rises from 25 to 95 percent when you lower the customer churn rate. The churn rate refers to the number of customers that stop using the brand in a set time.

Brand loyalty means you can spend a larger percentage of your marketing budget on attracting new customers and ensuring their loyalty. Loyal customers consistently generate revenue. New customers cost you money as you try to win their hearts.

How to Build Brand Loyalty

How to Build Brand Loyalty

Now that you know repeat business matters, how do you get it? The best approach is a strategic one.

Know Your Customer

It is the golden rule of marketing. Loyalty only grows if the brand fills a need for the customer. Your products should solve a problem for them. For that to happen, you have to know what they need. Your brand cannot survive if there isn’t a market for your products. You won’t know if there is a market if you don’t know the customer.

Find Commonality

Having similar values is the key to any strong relationship. A recent Harris Poll found that a staggering 77 percent of consumers look for brands that value what they do. For example, they look for brands that support sustainability or diversity.

Take a close look at your ideal customer. What do they believe in? Is it something the brand can get behind and if so, how do you let customers know?

The answer might be to support organizations related to that value openly. You could also talk about your beliefs on social media and in ads. Make your support part of the brand mission statement and set up a section on your website to discuss the brand’s efforts.

Find Ways to Add a Personal Touch

In order for customers to develop a personal connection with your brand, they must be able to humanize it. That means you need to find a way to get personal with them. Make sure you have social media pages relative to your target audience. Keep in mind, social media changes often, so keep track of what is trending.

Use social media to respond to questions, introduce staff members, and talk about products and why they matter. Also, showcase the things the company is doing on social media. For example, are you sponsoring the local softball tournament? How about attending a trade show? Share your brand life with them.

Along those same lines, be active in your community. That will give you things to talk about on social media. It will also put a personal spin on the brand.

Take a Proactive Approach to Customer Feedback

Ask your customers what you are doing right and what needs improvement. Don’t wait for them to complain or assume everything is good until your numbers drop.

Do a survey, look for customer testimonials, and ask them to review your products. Then, shine a spotlight on the positive and deal with the negative to fix the problems.

Use Your Staff as Ambassadors

A happy, loyal staff will encourage satisfied, loyal customers. Make them feel appreciated, so they become loyal to the brand. They should be your first brand loyalists.

Focus on the Customer Experience

Eighty percent of customers who dump brands do it because of a poor customer experience. The customer experience starts at the front door or home page and extends through the buying process and customer service.

Make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for and make a purchase without jumping through a bunch of hoops. The happier they are when they leave, the more likely they will come back. It can take up to five buys before they become loyal customers.

Reward Loyalty

Relationships that don’t grow die. One way to help foster that relationship with your customer is to offer a loyalty program. Little things like special discounts make loyal customers feel appreciated. A loyalty program is another opportunity to engage with your customers, too.

Be Consistent

Consumers look for consistency in the brands they love. They want to know that the brand will consistently deliver on its promises. So they’ll be looking for a new brand to love when you let them down.

Brands that succeed in a global market do so because they offer the same products in India as in New York. There may be some variation to cater to the local population, but Starbucks coffee and stores look the same in Indiana as they do in Jamaica. Customers count on getting the same quality no matter where they go, so they look for a Starbucks in every city they visit.

Use Marketing That Grabs Their Attention

People make choices about brands based on marketing in most cases. You might stumble across a brand and fall in love with it a few times in your life, but most of the time, it’s the marketing that draws you in and gets you to buy initially.

Your logo should play to your audience. Choose colors that reflect your brand’s personality, for example. The color blue often represents trust or loyalty. Red is passionate. Whatever color palette you choose, keep it consistent in all your marketing campaigns unless you rebrand.

Look for other ways to stand out in a sea of competitors. Some examples of marketing strategies that will get you noticed include:

  • Influencers
  • Strong innovative website
  • Guest blogs
  • Social media games and contests
  • Live streaming from anywhere
  • Webinars and how-tos
  • Interactive videos and ads

Finding the right formula for your ideal audience may take some trial and error.

Do Your Research Always

Don’t make assumptions about what is working and what isn’t. Instead, keep your eye on the market and look for trends. If you don’t stay in tune with what your customers want, they will give their loyalty to another brand. It will be much harder to get them back if they stray.

Turn to a Professional

Turn to a Professional

If you’ve tried everything and it’s not working, then get professional help. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. The most effective strategies are the one’s custom designed for your brand.

A professional marketing team will do in-depth research and help you find the right approach to building brand loyalty. They will also stay with you as you implement their plan to make sure it works. They will do tweaks along the way to ensure you see results and a return on investment.

Brand loyalty isn’t optional. It is a must-have for all brands, whether your market is B2B or B2C. It is necessary for all sectors, too. It is how you get customers to come back, again and again, to buy your products or use your services.

Let the experts at Vinci Marketing show you have to increase your revenue by 25 percent while reducing your costs by 30 percent. Book your free strategy session today. We’ll use our proven formula to build a marketing strategy that works. You can use the strategy for your brand even if you don’t want any of our other services, so what do you have to lose?

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci

Gerald D. Vinci is the CEO of Vinci Digital with over 20 years of experience in marketing and advertising. He partners with mid-size, established businesses as a growth and scalability consultant and strategic branding advisor as well as offering a full-suite of agency services. Gerald calls Carmel, CA home with his wife Safira and two children. He has co-authored two books, and is working on his own upcoming book titled, “Small Business Pricing Mastery – Creating effective pricing and defining value for today’s products and services.”