“Customer loyalty is the single most important driver of growth and profitability.” – The Harvard Business Review
It’s obvious that brand loyalty is hugely important! But why? Well everyone knows thats it’s so much harder to find new customers than to retain existing ones. A true brand loyal customer, through “WOM” (word of mouth), can get their friends and family to switch brands in an instant.
Says Chip Bell, one of the leading experts in how to create a culture which supports long-term customer loyalty, ”Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.”
Brand loyalty has the benefit of lowering marketing, advertising, and distribution costs. Loyal customers will search far and wide to find their brand choice, and are less sensitive when it comes to price increases.
Building and sustaining brand loyalty
Live up to the expectation of the brand. Increase the customer’s user experience, use creative CRM, and convert the consumer thinking from, “It’s just another brand”, to “It’s my brand.” You no longer have customers; you now have fans!
Leave a good impression
Mediocre efforts are just not good enough, even in the case of ‘small jobs’. Ensure you egg your team on to work even harder and ultimately exceed the consumer’s expectations. Another important element to ‘leaving a good impression’ is that this leads to WOM. Word of mouth is the biggest driver of news, good or bad.
Work even harder to fully satisfy customers
Loyal customers are not discovered in a day… It takes time, effort, and results for customers to become fans! Consumers must be reminded of the value of their purchase/service and be encouraged to continue purchasing in the future.
Viral marketing is key
Tweet more often, post more news and updates on Facebook, and upload ‘pin-worthy’ images and videos on Pinterest… Let your customers know that you are always trying to stay in contact with them, and at the same time, keeping them interested in what you’re doing.
Not just the usual ‘different’, or as the saying goes, “I am unique, just like everybody else.” Use emotional promotion tactics, offer free services, create a buzz by lowering your price just for one day. Do things that aren’t the norm – something that will get people talking, but at the same time, form a connection with your customers.
Reward your customers with your time
Constantly keep in touch with your customers. Email marketing is prime. Send out messages every few months, thanking them for their support.
Consumers need to be able to relate to a brand. The question they ask themselves changes from: “Has this brand done the job?” to “How does by brand suit by personality and depict my lifestyle?”
Get people to fall in love with your brand. Spend more time with them, like going for a long walk on the beach (figuratively … or literally!) and building up a community through conversation.
“Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You’d be amazed how many companies don’t listen to their customers.” – Ross Perot
Ultimately, brand loyalty is actually nothing but customer loyalty!