Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the most returning customers amongst all?
Wouldn’t this be great if every business had such a magical mirror or some mystic powers to drag back the old consumers?
Sadly, there aren’t any…
But you can work on your brand’s loyalty score!
Yes, you can create a compelling brand loyalty for your business and turn your consumers into devoted buyers. There are companies who have been investing in their brand via different loyalty programs and now it’s your turn to take yours to a new height of success.
No idea how brand loyalty works?
This post is the perfect place to understand how brand loyalty makes you a strong contender of the competition.
Come, let’s talk about everything branding, the loyalty programs and how you can create one. And see how investing into your brand’s loyalty can benefit your business for years to come, below.
Let’s do a recap of what brand loyalty is with examples so you can understand its true application in making yours an unshakable name in the market.
Brand loyalty is the love a consumer shows for the brand due to having positive experience in the first purchase and a willingness to buy again and again and for an infinite number of times. And companies make efforts to maintain this WOW effect in their buying experience so the consumers keep coming back to them or keep praising their products/services.
Are you an Android user or own an Apple phone?
There’s a silent war between these two groups where iPhone users feel privileged to own a device with a bitten apple mark on the back. Apple not just sells electronic devices it embeds the prestige and class that resonates with those buyers who seek more than a device. And this is the reason that even after having an expensive price tag, an Apple user would always choose iPhone over an Android device.
Every being seeks a different quality when it comes to taking sides or picking their favourite brands. You can’t say that a consumer would always fall for cheaper products as some seek durability and others…well they demand popularity to match their status.
Don’t be scared with this whole brand loyalty type conundrums as I’ve simplified 4 basic kinds that you can easily digest and select one for your brand. You can either win consumer loyalty by best price, via offering benefits, or giving convenience and if all fails, by offering comfort. Here, I’ve tried to explain all four brand loyalty types in detail, below:
Who doesn’t like to own something at a lower price?
Brands often use this technique to attract new consumers (and sometimes invite old ones, too) whenever there’s a new product launch or any festive discount.
The only downside of this kind of brand loyalty type is that your consumers would be volatile and fly away finding a brand that’s offering its products on a lower price than yours. But if you play your cards right, you can create an infinite loop to engage your consumers with repeated lower pricing products.
Let’s understand it with an example, below!
Among the most popular retail stores, Walmart has retained its position in the competition by offering its products at most competitive pricing. Walmart ensures that every product is available to its consumer at the best prices on all seasons. They offer everything on the ideal pricing that meets the majority’s budget and rules the industry with its best price promise.
Fostering brand loyalty via cheaper prices is not the only way, you can also offer your consumers some incentives and reward them.
There are brands who successfully maintain a reputation for having a high rate of returning consumers via the innovative incentive or reward programs. These programs invite the consumers to try a certain product, visit the same location, or book via a certain debit/credit card. And every time they make a purchase, the brand gives them a certain point that they can pool and redeem after hitting a particular limit.
Take Starbucks Reward Program for example!
Starbucks Rewards was first announced via their mobile app that eliminates the need to own a card or keep a coupon with you. You get to receive points on ordering your favourite coffee, snacks or anything that they offer via the mobile app. And you’ll get points on every transaction you make. Once you meet a certain threshold, you can redeem your collected points to purchase free meals and save money.
Have you noticed how our lifestyle has become so crowded and fast paced?
Brands make use of this problem to foster brand loyalty amongst the consumers. They simply provide their consumers with an option to solve their commuting problems. You can either make the purchasing cycle flawless and easy via a mobile app or offer the quickest shipment guarantee.
If you manage to devise such a beneficial mechanism for your consumers, you won’t need to worry with other competitors who lack in this domain.
Here’s another example to better understand this concept!
When it comes to understanding how brands retain their buyers via convenience brand loyalty type, Amazon always leads with its 2-Day shipment promise. Amazon has changed the face of retail with its online shopping trend. And not just that, it offers you the best prices, wide range of products and minimum shipment time to become the first choice of every buyer across the globe.
If you want to play old school, consider creating brand loyalty via the satisfaction aspect of your products.
Because no one would want to switch a brand that is tried, tested, and trusted whether the other brands are offering their products almost free. But while you consider this brand loyalty type, be careful as you’ll have to be consistent in your customer loyalty techniques because once they find another brand that offers personalized products, they won’t think twice to move on.
Look how this brand uses satisfaction brand loyalty to retain its consumers!
There were tech giants like IBM when Apple initiated its operations in the 70s. Soon, they understood that the consumer is the key to success and they started to redesign their products as the consumers told them to. They incorporated every missing component that IBM and other computer makers lacked and now Apple has been maintaining its prestige in the tech industry for more than 40 decades via its MacBook, iMac, and iPhone series.
You should give it a read: 13 Questions You Should Ask Your Brand Strategist
Let’s just move on to the main topic: How to Build a Strong Brand Loyalty?
You might wonder why successful brands invest on their brand loyalty score when they can attract new consumers, right? It’s because an old consumer would buy more and more once he finds your products useful and accurately as they wanted.
A study conducted to review repeat buyer’s behaviour reveals that there’s a 27% chance that a buyer would return back if he likes your products. And if you improve his overall purchase experience, this number can double (up to 54%) and you can retain half the consumers who will ever make purchases from you.
Come, let me explain to you how to create such strong brand loyalty that you will never face a declined customer return rate.
One of the wisest ways to personalize your brand as your consumers like it is by lending an ear.
If you truly want to create a brand loyalty that not just stays for years and solves their problem, you need to hear what they want to say. There are various ways to tap into the consumer conversations especially the social media platforms where people are free to express their experiences about a certain brand. Take Tesla owner (Elon Musk) as an example who is available on Twitter 24/7 to answer your queries.
Back then a Tesla user suggested the idea of the steering wheel (while the car is parked) via a tweet and Elon not just appreciated him for this unique concept but made it a reality.
The idea is to listen to what they actually feel about your products and fix any bugs or flaws to improve the overall user experience before it gets into the public’s eye and creates a hurdle for your brand. And if you manage to develop this two-way process (where they share the complaints and you solve them), you can easily win their trust and perfect your products along the way, too.
Speaking of the design part, our minds are trained to recognize the most familiar things first and this leads us to another step to create a strong brand loyalty via keeping it consistent.
Revisit your logo design, colour palette, and font selection for designing a number of marketing collaterals such as product’s packaging, website layout, and social media posts etc. The key objective is to conclude if everything is in alignment with your brand style guide so your consumers can identify your brands with ease.
We all know Nike as the sports brand and its famous swoosh!
One of the reasons for mentioning Nike as a suitable example is its widest consumer base that doesn’t trade for another brand. It’s not just due to the awesome quality that they offer via the products but the consistency present in the design, colour scheme and branding elements that collectively allow a consumer to feel (positively) good about owning a Nike product.
Unity is another factor in creating a stronger brand loyalty!
Just study how big, successful brands foster brand loyalty in their consumers via building community around your brand. In the past, there were members-only clubs that used to create a sense of belonging in brand users. And now, we’ve more ways to connect with the consumers via social media platforms where we can reach the core consumers directly and hear what they say about the brand.
Take Airbnb as an example to understand the role of community building in fostering brand loyalty!
Airbnb, a space sharing startup, made its place in the travel industry with its unique business structure. What’s even more interesting is its community building approach for adding the brand loyalty element in its users. Airbnb provides a platform to its hosts for connecting with other hosts where they can learn about their cultures, the travelling trends and peak seasons when people travel in that region. You can study your brand and seek the ways to build a community around your offerings so those interested in them can have a voice and a sense of belonging with your brand, too.
Speaking of brand loyalty, how can I miss mentioning a great logo design that contributes to making a brand successful.
See, whenever we purchase something, a considerable part of our decision making is influenced by that particular symbol representing the brand. Talk about any industry, talk about any product, and there will be a particular symbol that would hit our mind instantly. And this is all because the brand has invested into a custom logo design that stays in our subconscious mind even if we’re not the regular buyers.
Speak of luxury beauty items and you’ll instantly think of Chanel!
The inverted C shape logo is one of the reasons that everyone goes for them whenever there’s a mention of premium cosmetics products for women. The logo is so timeless and perfect in the basic design concepts that they never changed it a bit. Think of some cool logo ideas that can become a part of your brand loyalty and be a symbol of pride for your users, too.
For creating a strong brand loyalty amongst your consumers, you need to prove yourself as an authority in the industry.
Don’t forget that you’re a brand not an entertainer!
If you chase after every consumer segment, you’ll end up feeling exhausted. Instead, your energies and resources should be focused on addressing a specific audience that is actually interested in the kind of products that you make.
And not just that, you should put your best step forward and show them how greatly you do things.
Look at LG, they make innovative computer devices!
LG is known for selling electronic devices but there’s a hidden message in their products that is focused on the wellbeing of the user along with meeting the utility part. Think of the USPs of your brand and see how you can incorporate them in creating a strong brand loyalty. Because people never show devotion towards a brand unless they find a relatable mission in the offering.
Brand loyalty is not an easy task if you’re not playing by the rule!
In order to keep your consumers hooked on your services or products, you have to maintain consistency in your conversations.
And social media platforms are the best choice to do that!
You must understand how you must use it for creating awareness about your brand. Sure, you may share the same message by the tone should be personalized as per the social media platform in order to receive a high engagement rate against your branding efforts.
Look at how GoPro uses its different social media platforms!
GoPro doesn’t go with a tone-deaf branding strategy when it comes to utilizing different social media platforms. It uses Facebook mostly for interacting with consumers and sharing new products. But on Instagram, it shares how cool their cameras are with various user-generated content. Devise such a creative approach to maximize your engagement rate as well as strengthen the brand loyalty score amongst your consumers, too.
An important read for you: Branding through Social Media to set sail your small business
In order to create a concrete brand loyalty, keep the customer in the centre of your whole plan!
It means that you shouldn’t forget that every endeavour, every branding effort that you’re making is for them. So, create a customer-first environment in your business that is visible in your routine work and appreciated by the consumers. Doing so will not just earn revenue but you’ll have an army of your representatives in shape of your regular consumers, too.
Learn this quality from Chick-fil-A!
They invest in their employees on customer relation management, serve fresh food, and try to keep them up-to-date with the latest technology. This helps them in connecting with their consumers on multiple channels along with the drive-thru ordering facility. This has earned them the customer-centric badge with various awards applauding their efforts for doing more than needed for the consumers. Try to find such ways to create a customer-first approach in your brand, too, and see the magic happening.
There are different patterns to strengthen your brand’s loyalty score but I personally prefer focusing on consumer’s success. Because no amount of marketing effort can convince a consumer than the moment, he realizes the true potential and relevance of your products. So, work on your brand and see what particular techniques would be an ideal approach for creating loyalty in your consumers. Adios!
Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.
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