Okay, so you’re at that familiar old crossroads again. You want more customers. You think you need new customers to drive revenue. We’ve all been there time and again. And we definitely all want higher levels of revenue and profit for our businesses.
But couldn’t you be overlooking something vital? It’s not just that customer acquisition can cost you up to five times more than customer retention, even though that statistic is a crucial one.
It’s not even that you live in a day and age where your industry is so competitive that there aren’t a lot of ways left to keep a loyal customer.
The key factor that you might be forgetting about is that brand loyalty is a catalyst to business growth, plain and simple.
Brand loyalty shifts the focus back to your repeat customers. It gives you a competitive advantage and saves you money in the long run, too.
What is Brand Loyalty?
If you aren’t familiar with brand loyalty, you might be thinking: “Well that sounds pretty magical. Are you sure it has all of those benefits? If so, where can I find it?”
It does seem magical, but the good news is that you can find brand loyalty within your very business and customer base.
Let’s lay it out simply. Brand loyalty is when customers tend to purchase from the same brands instead of its rival brands. It happens over a long period of time.
Essentially, it’s when your customers want to remain your customers. Customer loyalty is more focused on the monetary side of things. Brand loyalty, however, is centered around your brand image. That is, the public opinion of your brand as a whole.
That includes their experience throughout their whole customer journey. It takes into account your brand’s reputation. It addresses your mission statement or core values and whether or not you stay true to them.
Brand loyalty is measurable. Do you retain your existing customers? Do they want to keep buying from you over time? Do you convert your leads? What methods do you use to do all of that?
How Can a Company Build Customer Loyalty?
A lot of sources you read might tell you that brand loyalty is a long and tortuous path. But we’re here to tell you that it’s achievable if you know how to hone the craft. With effective marketing and an emotional connection with your customers, you’re halfway there.
We get into the specifics later on, so keep reading. But to start with, we identified four primary methods you can use to perfect brand loyalty.
First, you have to amp up your profits. This might sound like something that’s easier said than done. But with brand loyalty, you retain customers. 89 percent of businesses consider the customer experience as an important way to generate brand loyalty and retention.
You can do so through your website, email, and social media presence.
Secondly, you just need to get it all started. With loyalty marketing, actually functions the best when you leave it to its own device. If you offer quality products or services, your brand ambassadors put in the work for you. They post reviews and spawn positive chatter about your brand.
Next, you work proactively during positive times. When your brand builds ahead of time, your loyal customer core takes over for unforeseen circumstances.
Nurture your customers. You’ll be glad you did when something unpleasant happens with your business. When the going gets tough, your brand ambassadors get going.
The final general way to build brand loyalty is to address the bad reviews. These bad reviews will happen. It’s impossible to have a perfect company all of the time.
So you don’t want to spend all of your valuable time troubleshooting when you could spend it growing your presence. With brand loyalty, you have a horde of satisfied consumers. They combat the negative feedback with their own far more positive experiences.
What Does it Mean to Build Brand Loyalty?
We know that your time is valuable and you want to spend it on promoting a valuable company. So let’s keep it simple here.
Building brand loyalty means you have assurance. It acts as a certificate of proof that your brand is on the up-and-up. It doesn’t just stimulate growth in the first place, although it does that too. Brand loyalty is also the blueprint to grow and improve as time goes on.
It’s also multifaceted. For example, you’ve probably witnessed a business that does the opposite in your lifetime. Think of an independent delivery company. Other businesses that sell furniture outsource with them for their delivery services.
The delivery company might not nurture its customers. They can fail here in any number of ways, and it might happen when they:
- Don’t put their customers first. They value their company and its revenue more than the customer experience. This leads to poor customer service and disappointment all around
- Let anybody handle the customer journey. They don’t assign a designated leader to their customers
- Only think in terms of “now” for customer service. Instead, they could have identified certain pain points and worked in advance to solve any issues before they even happened
- Pester their customers. You should communicate with your buyers. But there’s a difference between doing that and over-stimulating them with duplicate messages and overzealous marketing campaigns
- Lack consistency. If you make empty promises that you can’t fulfill, your brand’s reputation becomes one that’s untrustworthy
- Generalize instead of personalize. Customers today want a tailor-fit for their buyer journey
These are only a handful of examples, but any of these diminish brand loyalty. Like we said, brand loyalty is multifaceted. Both the company that uses the delivery service and the delivery service itself would generate a poor brand image.
Here’s How to Build Brand Loyalty
So now you know the basics.
You understand what brand loyalty is and why it matters. We walked you through the four main ways to build it within your business. You know what not to do and some of the ways that you can fail.
While failure is a part of success, we’re not going to leave any room for it.
Below, we have seven steps for you to take. Follow them and you’ll build brand loyalty with ease. Do you want to know the best part? They’re amazingly easy.
Once you’re done reading about them, you might think to yourself: “I can’t believe I didn’t come up with that on my own.”
Aim for Customer Experience and Service
The first way to build brand loyalty gets you back to the basics. You need to set up your target, which should always be a quality customer service experience. Once you realize that, aim your arrow and shoot your shot.
You might think that the perfect bullseye is when you close a sale. But you’d be wrong. Brand loyalty is based on everything that happens after the purchase.
You also might worry that your customer service costs will be too high to maintain. Again, you’d be wrong. Once you invest in it, you’ll find that your ROI skyrockets.
Remember the Golden Rule that your parents and Kindergarten teachers drilled into you?
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.” In particular, it’s true for brand loyalty. Customers want you to respect them and follow through with your promises throughout their entire journey. If you do, they’ll return the favor.
Remember when we said brand loyalty is multifaceted? Let’s look at another example.
Pretend that you went to your local grocery store and bought a package of crackers that they sell. When you get home and open them up, you find that they’re already stale.
You reach out on Twitter to the grocery store and explain that you’re a loyal customer, but you just had this negative experience. A great example of an effective brand loyalty strategy is two-tiered. Both the store and the product brand can reach out to you to resolve the issue. It’s a streamlined approach that produces brand loyalty. Not to mention, no company wants to deal with a brand recall.
When all is said and done, follow the Golden Rule and you’ll strike gold.
Be Consistent With Everything
Consistency is key. You’ve heard it before, but it shouldn’t be something you soon forget.
If you practice consistency, your customers look forward to it every time they buy from you. Surprises might be fun for birthday parties, but they’re not for financial decisions.
You want a high level of customer service when you shop somewhere. You want that experience every single time. Also be consistent with the visual elements of your brand, like your logo or site design.
Deliver High-Quality Products or Services
Brand loyalty focuses a lot on the quality of your products or services. It’s a quid-pro-quo situation. You want loyal customers and they want a loyal company to deliver high-quality goods.
If you can provide them with that value, they’ll rely on you instead of your competitors. Even if you charge a higher price, they want your top-of-the-line offerings.
Build Trust With Reviews and Feedback
You can’t build trust in a personal relationship without time and effort. The same goes for building trust around your brand.
But there are several ways that you can do just that with little time or effort in terms of the big picture:
- Stand out as an expert within your niche market
- Manage your brand’s reputation, or brand image
- Be personable when you communicate with your customer base
What’s the best way to do all of that? Encourage your brand advocates to post reviews and provide feedback.
You can compile all of those reviews on your company’s web page. It shows individual success stories and the ways that prospective customers can benefit from your products/services, too.
Hook Customers With Exciting Offers
You know it just as much as we do: everyone loves an exciting offer. In fact, you can use those very words to hook existing and potential customers alike with an offer. It builds brand affinity. Customers like to feel as though your brand has something in common with them.
Take advantage of that. Suggest an exclusive experience. You could provide offers in the forms of:
- Limited-quantity deals
- Short-time-only sales
- Birthday or anniversary coupons sent right to their inbox
Develop Relationships With Customers
Can you think of any successful relationship where one party just wants to make money from the other and nothing more? We certainly can’t.
Brand loyalty is the same way. Nobody wants to feel like there’s just a dollar sign above their head every time you talk to them.
Avoid that by developing real relationships with your customers. If you just have a sales-centric relationship, it’s a struggle. Instead, focus on a relationship that benefits both sides. The sales will come naturally after that.
Create Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are sort of like point-based games to some consumers.
Those offers we talked about earlier are great, but buyers are smart. They know that it’s only for a short timeframe. A loyalty program, though, is a steady source of fun.
Flash sales are just what they sound like: they’re gone in a flash. On the other hand, you might develop a loyalty program that puts value on something besides their money. Depending on what they buy, your customer might unlock certain prizes after they earn enough points.
It’s something to work towards that benefits both your business and your loyal customers.
We know: you just follow those seven simple steps and you can generate brand loyalty? It’s true. And you’ll probably come up with even more ways to build brand loyalty around your company as you grow. After all, every business is unique and needs custom solutions.
That’s one of the many ways in which we can help. At Selling Revolution, we’re here to provide you with the custom-fit solutions that your business needs.
Sometimes, you need someone else to step in and analyze your situation before you can make a decision. If you want more comprehensive advice on how to stand out in your industry, head to our blog or featured media page.
For a more detailed list of the top-rated services that we offer, click here. You’ll find that we customize solutions for all of your business needs. To watch revolutionary and long-term growth happen for you, book a call with us today.