If you look at the definition of ‘brand loyalist’, what you’ll find is the description of something that’s highly prized in most businesses. It says brand loyalists are “consumers who remain loyal to a brand over a long period of time”, which while sounding simple, isn’t easy to achieve. It takes deliberate steps to not only attract clients but also keep them happy and engaged, which requires a comprehensive strategy.
The value of repeat customers
With 65% of revenue coming from repeat purchases in most companies, businesses can’t afford to overlook brand loyalty. Many of them do, however, funnelling resources into attracting new customers when it’s cheaper to market products and services to those who’ve bought from you in the past. Retained customers are also well placed to promote your business to their friends and family too, helping to service the other funnel at the same time.
How to create brand loyalists
There’s no quick fix to creating a brand loyalist, as this sort of relationship must be nurtured over time. It’s the summation of multiple elements that when properly deployed over time add up to more than their independent parts. Putting together a customer retention strategy should help ensure none of these crucial steps are overlooked, converting your best customers into advocates for your brand.
Here are some of the techniques you can use to focus on loyalty within your existing customer base:
1. Provide quality products and services
The foundation upon which to build your strategy to create loyal customers and advocates is having a quality product or service. All the marketing in the world can’t compensate for faulty goods or items that don’t live up to their expectations. Ensure your offering is the best version it can be, otherwise competitors will step ahead.
2. Implement effective customer service
In some markets, products are hard to tell apart, but it’s the customer service that sets one business ahead of another. User-friendly systems, omnichannel responses and quick resolutions can help you build brand loyalty. In fact, it’s been found that making mistakes can lead to customers that are more committed to your business, but only if issues are dealt with in the right way.
Learn more: What Can You Learn About Customer Service from These 4 Companies?
3. Create a brand loyalist persona
Get to know your ideal customers by creating a loyalist persona by analyzing the data from customer journeys across multiple devices and touchpoints. Understanding how repeat visitors to your website, social channels or other platforms behave will help you tailor the experience to their needs and encourage them to be loyalists.
4. Understand your core values
Aligning your company values with those of your customers is a key step towards retaining them and turning them into advocates. While many businesses believe their values are clear, this is often not the case. They need to be defined and communicated through every interaction, so they can work hard to build a connection with your clients.
5. Humanize your brand
While it’s important to maintain a certain level of professionalism when communicating with customers, the introduction of social media has changed marketing inextricably. It gives you the opportunity to show a more relaxed side of your brand, humanizing it in a way that appeals to customers in a different way to your website or other platforms.
6. Create an emotional attachment
Brands go beyond simple products and aren’t interchangeable in the eyes of a loyalist. Someone who has created memories based on your brand won’t substitute it for an alternative if they can’t find it in the usual place. Instead, they’ll seek it out and be prepared to pay more for it if necessary.
7. Reward customer loyalty
Long-term customers can feel undervalued when they see offers and discounts aimed at first-time purchasers. Not only should you ensure their loyalty is rewarded, but it can be even more effective if what you’re offering is different. Tailor it to the needs and desires of your retained customers to make them feel they’ve been carefully considered.
8. Make your employees loyalists
People have more trust in other people than they do in companies, which is why product reviews have become such a powerful force in marketing. This makes your employees an important resource in spreading the message about your brand. A top-down approach that sees staff becoming truly engaged with products and services is an effective way to make use of a resource you already have.
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