Is there a brand that you’re loyal to? Does a certain company make a product that you can’t live without, and would only buy from that specific brand?
Apple users, for example, show their brand loyalty when they stand in line for hours for the latest, greatest iPhone, never once considering an alternative company for their smartphone needs.
That kind of brand loyalty can be hard to come by, but it can be extremely profitable.
In an effort to help businesses boost brand loyalty, we’ve put together a post that breaks down this marketing phenomenon. After all, 75% of Americans think brands should implement better strategies to encourage brand loyalty.
We’ll answer basic questions about brand loyalty, and explain what impacts it.
What is brand loyalty?
When consumers are willing to buy from one brand over another – that’s brand loyalty. Of course, there are long, detailed academic definitions of brand loyalty, but at its core, brand loyalty is all about getting customers to continually buy from your business and your business only.
Why does brand loyalty matter?
First and foremost, brand loyalty can drive sales. When something has the potential to put more money in the register, business owners tend to take notice.
Customers that are loyal to your brand come back again and again. Achieving this kind of customer retention is a huge win for businesses.
For an average business, research shows loyal customers account for 20% of your entire customer base, but that 20% drives 80% of your business’s revenue, and 72% of total visits to your business.
What does it take to achieve brand loyalty?
Brand loyalty is a lot like creating a lasting friendship. When you think about the friends that you’ve had in your life for years and years, what did it take to achieve that kind of relationship?
To form a bond like that it takes time, shared experiences, opportunities to build trust, lots of conversations and a continued effort from both people to remain friends.
Well, that’s what it takes to build brand loyalty. It’s not achieved overnight, but by understanding what affects brand loyalty, businesses can use their resources to gain customers that are loyal to their brand.
What impacts brand loyalty?
There are dozens of factors that impact brand loyalty, but we’ll look at the top three. If you’re looking to improve brand loyalty, here’s what you can focus on:
- Good deals
It might seem obvious, but consumers say the number one reason they’re loyal to a specific brand is access to special deals or discounts. Consumers have a lot of options when it comes to spending money, and they believe they should be rewarded for choosing your company.
How can you reward loyalty? Set up a loyalty program. By creating a loyalty program, you send customers a message: we value your business. And you can back that up with a reward structure that gives repeat customers promotions and deals that others don’t receive.
- Phenomenal customer experience
Customers are loyal to brands that provide a superior customer experience. Every interaction a customer has with your brand shapes a customer’s experience. From the design and look of your store to the attitude the cashier has upon checkout, a customer is constantly forming an opinion on the experience that your brand offers.
How can you ensure a positive customer experience? Make sure every employee is friendly and offers personalized service. If customers have a problem, see that’s it’s resolved quickly. Keep your store clean, well lit and uncluttered. In short, work to ensure that the shopping experience at your store is off-the-charts-amazing.
- Shared values
Shared values also come into play with brand loyalty. Research from Harvard Business Review shows 64%t of consumers that want a relationship with a brand do so based on a brand’s higher purpose, philosophy or overall mission.
Consider the success of brands like TOMs or Pedigree. TOMs, a brand known for its shoes, believes its business can improve lives and acts on this principle by donating a pair of shoes every time a consumer buys a pair.
Pedigree Dog Food believes every dog deserves a loving home, and makes its food with specific ingredients to support the health of man’s best friend.
These companies have a clear value system that’s backed up by their actions. Both companies highlight these values in their marketing efforts so consumers can identify it as a shared value.
What value or principle does your company uphold that customers can support? By sharing values with customers your brand doesn’t feel like a faceless corporation; it makes your company seem human. That connection can propel brand loyalty and sales.
How does your company build brand loyalty? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.