Why is this quality so very important . . . and the ultimate goal of all branding activity?
Once you achieve customer loyalty, consumers will:
- Choose your product or service over others . . . regardless of your competitors’ behavior.
- Select you without price shopping . . . and perhaps even be willing to pay a bit more.
- Become repeat buyers – often for years and potentially crossing multiple generations (an impressive brand success).
- Recognize your product by your logo and other branding elements without a reference to your name.
- Become your best sales force – promoting your product/service through word of mouth.
- Expect you to make good on brand promises – those qualities you have promoted that have resonated with your audience.
- Present you with growth opportunities – in part through cross sales.
In other words, once you have achieved customer loyalty, your sales acquisition costs should decrease significantly because less marketing and sales expense should be required to generate the desired revenue.
So . . . How Do You Create Brand Loyalty . . . and Avoid Getting Lost in the Crowd?
While I’m sure you’ve heard about (and probably been pitched) loyalty/incentive programs, such tools are just one of many that are available.
Note: Loyalty programs encourage shoppers to return to stores where they frequently make purchases. Some of the incentives may include advanced access to new products, additional discounts, or sometimes free merchandise. Customers typically register their personal information with the company and are given a unique identifier, such as a numerical ID or membership card, and use that identifier when making a purchase. (Investopedia) Want to learn more? Check out these seven examples of some of the best: https://www.leadquizzes.com/blog/7-examples-of-customer-loyalty-programs/
That said . . .
Instead of focusing on those prepackaged plans, you really just need to expend your energy on building a great brand and consistently promoting your strengths via consistent implementation of the basic branding elements you’ve put into place. Specifically, you should:
- Provide a customer service experience that reflects your brand.
- Utilize social media to establish an online presence.
- Build a visual brand identity that reflects your products/services and overall operations . . . so the message you are trying to send reflects reality and stands a chance of resonating with your audience.
- Establish credibility (and trustworthiness) by making good on your brand promises.
- Incorporate best practices in all that you do AND be the best.
- Know your audience and make sure your products/services satisfy their needs . . . even as those needs may change.
- Maintain strict consistency in your spoken, written, and visual message – enhancing recognition.
- Focus on creating loyal, repeat customers who will continue to frequent your business. (Why so important . . . ?)
THE LAW OF THE VITAL FEW – The Pareto Principle states that 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from 20% of your current customer base, making it imperative that you focus on creating loyal, repeat customers that will continue to frequent your business. (Written by the Forbes Agency Council)
- Make positive contributions to society part of your culture. (To do so can enhance the environmental, social, and governance aspects of your operations, which in turn, enhances the sustainability of your success.)
- Add extra value above and beyond the basic product/service provided.
- Check in with your customers regularly via surveys, conversations (research groups), calls, etc. AND really listen to them.
Don’t Be Brand X!
If your business has achieved customer loyalty, you’ve mastered one of the key measures of success – your products and services are no longer generic (. . . and interchangeable) in the eyes of you audience. You are no longer just another Brand X! You have a personality and identity; you’ve established a relationship with your customer.
As this article suggests, this goal is accomplished in many ways, including a consistent, well-developed branding program that sends a clear message to your intended audience.
Brand Building for Small Business has been identified by Feedspot (www.Feedspot.com) as one of the Top 100 Branding Blogs. Feedspot provides “the most comprehensive list of branding blogs on the Internet” so we are pleased to be part of that group. To learn more, visit https://blog.feedspot.com/branding_blogs/.