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If you’re looking to sustainably scale your business and grow your base of repeat customers, so you can ensure that you remain profitable, you need to know how to create and maintain brand loyalty.
So, how can you start making changes in your business model to create more brand loyalty within your existing customers? We’ve got some tips for you; but first, let’s discuss what brand loyalty is and why it matters.
Unlike customer loyalty, which is focused primarily on your pricing strategies, brand loyalty is built from the overall image that a customer has of your business.
Your reputation, promotions, and the customers' previous experiences with your business all play a role in brand loyalty.
If a customer would rather visit your business than any of your other local competition, you've earned their loyalty. This might sound simple enough, but it’s actually far from it. Brand loyalty is a complex, living creature that requires a long-term, serious commitment to maintain.
When a customer has brand loyalty for your business, it means that they'll continue to purchase your products or services, even if there might be better price options available through one of your competitors.
They'll also continue purchasing from you, over and over, as long as you can maintain that brand loyalty. In many cases, your most loyal customers will be the ones testing out your newest products, and giving you invaluable, honest feedback about them. They’ll also be a great source of referrals and word-of-mouth for your business.
Establishing brand loyalty isn't easy, and it takes time to create (at least, in any long-lasting sense). This isn’t something you can build in a week, or even a month, if you want to maintain long-term connection with customers. It’s something you need to build into your strategy, and continue making it a priority in all your future plans.
However, there are some tricks you can use to stand out against your competition. Follow these, and you’ll be well on your way to building a more loyal consumer base.
We've compiled 5 of our favourite tips that you can use to create and maintain brand loyalty within your target market:
Go above and beyond at every opportunity.
Always make sure that you're delivering exactly what you promise to your customers, if not a little bit extra. Customers love finding out that they're getting an even better deal than they thought; especially after they've already made it all the way to the checkout.
Find out ways to slide them a little extra on their way out, and they’re sure to return soon. The excitement you create will stay with them, even after they’ve paid and continued on with their day. In the back of their minds, they’ll be looking forward to finding out what other surprises you might have in store for them.
It's not always about immediate value either. Consider instituting a loyalty program, where the customer can earn points towards free merchandise, or discounts that they can use on future purchases.
The additional benefit of these programs is that not only do they create brand loyalty, but they strongly encourage repeat business from your customers, since that's how the customer will earn the most rewards.
Get out into your local communities and make a name for yourself.
Support local charitable organizations, or sports teams. You don't have to break the bank to make a difference in the community; and trust us, people will take notice.
Whenever possible, find an organization that strikes a chord with your existing target market. Selling auto parts? Consider supporting MADD. Own a restaurant? Offer to host the banquet for a local children's league, and foot part of the bill. You could even do things like host fundraisers or accept charitable donations through your location, no matter what your business might be offering.
A little giving can go a long way, when it comes to building long-lasting brand loyalty. And the positive word-of-mouth you can earn towards your brand’s reputation is priceless.
When you're creating new processes, instituting promotions, or setting customer service standards, you have to make sure everything is always consistent.
The last thing that you want is for one customer to come in and have a fantastic experience, only to have their friends receive a less than stellar welcome when they come to see you.
It's especially important to be mindful of promotions, since your rules have to ensure that every customer receives the same benefit/chance of winning, based on the conditions you set. We discussed this potential issue in our Bonus Entries article.
If a customer feels like someone else is being given preferential treatment above what they're receiving, you're bound to lose some of their goodwill.
Customer care should be at the forefront of everything your business does.
How intuitive is your customer journey through your brick-and-mortar stores? Will customers be able to easily find what they're looking for, or is it more likely that they're going to need some assistance?
Are your staff well-educated on all the products/services that you're offering? Do you have a customer service plan in place, to ensure the customers who visit your in-store locations are given the attention they deserve?
There are tons of factors that come into play when it comes to customer care, and they all have to be taken into account whenever you're introducing something new into your business model, whether that be a new process or a new promotion.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your customer always has to come first. If they aren't on centerstage when they're shopping from you, you'll never earn their brand loyalty.
Use Social Media Marketing techniques to create an open, ongoing dialogue between your business and your customer base.
Facebook Groups are a great way to create an open conversation that customers can use to express honest opinions about your business and services. The things you hear may not always be positive, but you should never let it get you down. Constructive feedback from customers is a great way to start finetuning your marketing strategies.
You can also run engaging contests on other platforms like Instagram & Pinterest, which directly involves the customer in your marketing plans.
This is a fantastic way to build excitement, and a great way for you to have the customer produce some useful marketing materials for your next campaign – at no cost to you! Just make sure you don’t forget to ask for permission to use those pictures first; otherwise, the customer could flip from a brand champion to an angry critic.
Customers have a lot to say, and they'll tell you, as long as you give them a way to talk to you. Not only will you glean some beneficial data from these conversations, you'll be making those customers feel heard and respected, which is a fantastic way to build strong, long-lasting brand loyalty.
Brand Loyalty is all about how customers perceive your brand. Northsail works tirelessly to ensure we uphold our core values, so that our clients always know we value their input, as well as their business.
With that in mind, we're inviting you to participate in an early, free trial for our newest service, 'Horizon'.
Horizon allows you to quickly and efficiently create high-performance landing pages and microsites for your business, without requiring the assistance of a developer. You can build and incorporate promotions across your entire site, and also immediately start collecting useful customer data that you may be overlooking.
The only requirement is that you take a few minutes to let us know what you think about Horizon, once you've had a chance to sit down and test it out. There's no obligation, so why not give it a try?
We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.
Your contact information will only be used for the early access program, not for future sales and marketing.