How to Convert Your Best Customers into Brand Loyalists


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Monday, July 31, 2023

Retained customers can make excellent advocates for your business, but a loyal relationship must be developed over time.

Article 6 Minutes
How to Convert Your Best Customers into Brand Loyalists

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, funneling resources into attracting potential customers when it's cheaper to market products and services to those who've bought from you in the past. Retained consumers 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 customer relationships like this 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 consumers 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 buyers 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.

9. Implement personalization

Adopting personalization in your marketing strategies allows you to foster personal connections with customers, ultimately leading to increased advocacy from brand-loyal customers. By customizing products, services and communication to cater to individual preferences and needs, you can demonstrate that you genuinely care about your customers' unique experiences. This sense of understanding and support often results in the formation of strong emotional connections, which serve as the foundation for long-lasting customer relationships.

Learn more: Use Real-Time Personalization to Create Dynamic, Relevant Experiences

10. Understand what your customers actually care about

Understanding what shoppers truly care about is essential for businesses to turn buyers into brand-loyal customers and advocates. By identifying and catering to their needs, businesses can foster emotional connections, which significantly impact customer loyalty and retention. These strong bonds encourage customers to share their positive experiences, leading to effective word-of-mouth marketing. When customers feel genuinely understood and valued, they are more likely to recommend the brand to others and become long-term advocates. Ultimately, focusing on buyer priorities not only drives brand loyalty but also enhances overall business growth and success.

11. Run customer loyalty programs

Customer loyalty programs hold the potential to transform occasional buyers into valuable customers and advocates. By offering incentives and rewards, businesses can foster a sense of belonging and appreciation among their base of customers. This, in turn, encourages repeat purchases and higher product quality engagement, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty. As consumers recognize the added value of these programs, they are more likely to share their positive experiences with others, effectively expanding the brand's reach and reputation through word-of-mouth marketing.

Learn more: 5 Brilliant Customer Loyalty Programs from Big Brands

12. Building and engaging with a community of customers

Creating communities of consumers is a powerful strategy for businesses to create strong relationships. By providing exceptional customer service, businesses can make a lasting impression on first-time customers, fostering loyalty that drives repeat purchases and referrals. What's more, by promoting and actively engaging with a community of these buyers, businesses can better understand their needs and desires, allowing them to tailor their products and services accordingly. This tailored approach not only keeps consumers satisfied but also contributes to customer loyalty, sharing their positive experiences with others. In turn, this organic word-of-mouth marketing can attract new customers and further strengthen the community, ultimately benefiting the business's long-term success.

Marketing Insights for Professionals

Insights for Professionals provide free access to the latest thought leadership from global brands. We deliver subscriber value by creating and gathering specialist content for senior professionals



Join the conversation...