Three steps to increase brand loyalty
The four levels of brand loyalty.
There are different levels of brand loyalty based on your customer’s reasoning for purchase.
- STRICT: These types of customers are loyal to a single brand. One sign of a strict brand loyal customer is their repurchasing behaviour despite being able to purchase the same product or service at a lower price from the competition.
- SPLIT: Customers who are split, purchase from less than three brands, usually are close to being strict but feel that they are missing something their optimal brand choice is missing. Split customers are still very valuable to your business.
- SHIFTING: As the term suggests, shifting customers move from one brand to another. While they might favour a certain brand certain factors are stopping them from committing. These types of customers tend to repurchase less often or only when some incentive is offered (e.g. discount code).
- SPURIOUS: This level consists of customers who are falsely loyal. While these customers might repurchase often they are only doing so because of convenience, lack of alternatives or some other restraint. Repurchase activity from these customers can be very misleading.
Why is brand loyalty important?
Having a large brand loyal audience has numerous advantages, but there are five main benefits that convey exactly why improving your brand loyalty is crucial to long-term business success.
- A recent survey in the US found the average company loses approximately 13% of its customer base yearly. Brand loyalty means fewer lost customers and higher sales.
- Businesses may change their pricing without a potentially negative reaction from customers. Loyal customers will accept reasonable price increases because they value your product/service.
- It takes more energy to seek out new customers than retain loyal customers. A large percentage of loyals means you can focus that extra marketing energy elsewhere.
- Loyal customers are the best asset for word-of-mouth marketing. People who are pleased with your brand will go out of their way to recommend you to their network.
- Brand loyalty increases your business’s reputable nature and the trust given by customers. For example, launching new products or partnering with another business will be more successful.
How can you increase brand loyalty?
While brand loyalty ultimately comes with brand maturity, there are definitely ways you can assist the process and get the results you want. When it comes to customers, there are 3 main factors that influence their loyalty to a brand:
1. Their needs as a consumer are anticipated.
HOW: Listening to your customers needs is important but don’t forget about the power of anticipation. When you really know your customer base you should be able to predict what product or service will be useful to them, even if they don’t see it themselves. A basic example of this type of anticipation would be a follow-up email with recommended products similar to the one your customer purchased.
Consider what solution your customers already purchase from you and predict what would also be useful to them.
2. Quality products and or services are delivered every time.
HOW: It’s all about consistency. Every time your customer purchases a product or service, it need to a positive experience every time. When your customer knows you’ll deliver exactly what they want it builds trust and increases brand loyalty.
Be sure to have stringent quality guidelines for every product or service you offer. When adding new products to your company, they need to be the same high-quality as the others.
3. The brand strives to connect with them.
HOW: Consumers want to feel connected with their favourite companies. This promotes goodwill among all and, once again, builds trust. Connection of this type is the ultimate way of building strict loyalty as it’s a more personal approach.
Social media is one of the most cost effective tools available for connecting with consumers. Other tried-and-true methods of connection include offering quick email contact, live chat and pleasant on-phone customer service. A follow-up email after a purchase of a product or service (i.e. emailing to ensure if purchase was what they expected) is another powerful way of letting your customers know you care and are listening.
Building brand loyalty is all about perseverance and patience. It is one area where most quick fixes just simple won’t cut it. Consider your own loyalty as a consumer and you will likely come to the conclusion that a company can’t easily buy your own trust.
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