What Is Brand Loyalty and How Do You Build It?
Regardless of if you are a business-owner or simply a consumer, “brand loyalty” is a term you have probably heard. And if you are a business-owner, it is something that you have likely been told you want to achieve with consumers. But have you ever really stopped to think about what brand loyalty truly is, or how you can achieve it? Today, we are breaking down how exactly to define brand loyalty, why it is important, and how to build it for your business.
What Is Brand Loyalty?
As defined by Investopedia: “Brand loyalty is the positive association consumers attach to a particular product or brand. Customers that exhibit brand loyalty are devoted to a product or service, which is demonstrated by their repeat purchases despite competitor's efforts to lure them away.”
Put another way, brand loyalty refers to customers who make repeated purchases with the same brand, often choosing them over competitors, and putting trust in the brand.
This sense of loyalty requires consumers to develop an emotional attachment and positive association with a brand, which is often developed through a strong relationship with customers.
While this is a very qualitative definition of brand loyalty, some brands will develop scales or quantitative ways to measure what exactly brand loyalty means to them in particular. Is it when a customer makes a referral to another consumer? Is it when an individual has made at least 3 or more purchases with the brand? Every business is different and will identify when brand loyalty is reached in different ways. Can you think of how your particular business might recognize when brand loyalty has been achieved with a customer? Would you consider there to be tiers of how loyal a customer is as compared to another? Understanding these markers for your own unique business can be helpful when deciding what strategies to employ to foster even more loyalty from your customer baser.
Why Is Brand Loyalty Important?
So now that you know what the definition of brand loyalty is, it can be pretty easy to see the benefits of it and why it is an important element to build for your brand. Developing a strong base of happy, repeat customers is the cornerstone of building any brand, as these loyal customers are more likely to leave a positive review for your brand, refer you to friends and family, join loyalty programs, and even spend more money with the brand than they would at those they are not loyal to.
This isn’t just fantasy: the facts speak for themselves. According to MarketingLand.com:
60% of consumers will tell friends and family about brands they are loyal to
37% of consumers will leave online reviews for their favourite brands
50% of loyal retail shoppers will show up in-person to buy from their favourite brands
56% of brand loyalists check for messages from the brands they are loyal to at least once a week
How Do You Build Brand Loyalty?
Knowing what brand loyalty is and what it can do for you is just the first step in building it. So how do you develop those emotional connections and positive associations with your brand that will keep people coming back? Here are a few strategies to consider:
Great Service Available In-Person and Online
One of the easiest ways to get people coming back to your brand is by providing great service and experiences with every interaction. People value great service, and want to feel like they are important to your brand as individuals. Whether they prefer in-person or online, making sure all your service avenues are being covered is a great way to start building positive associations with your brand. If people have a great experience, they will remember it and seek out that feeling again.
As we already said, people like to feel important and not just like another number to a business. Personalizing experiences in both service and marketing can help achieve those emotional connections that bring people back to your brand. In fact, we recently talked all about personalizing your marketing in one of our blogs. You can check it out here!
While being able to get quality products and service are a no-brainer reason for people to come back to your brand, some people like having a little more incentive. Why not try starting a rewards program? It is estimated by PWC that nearly 130 million loyalty program memberships exist in Canada; that equals an average of more than 4 loyalty memberships per person! Even if people are already coming back time and time again to your business, this strategy can get them to come back all the more frequently to reap the rewards you are offering. These programs can take many different forms, such as: discounts, certificates, points, free gifts after a certain amount of purchases, and more.
Build Online Engagement
Is your brand online? Do people interact with your business there or is it more like the sound of crickets? Developing a strong social media presence and being interactive with consumers in-between sales is a great way to develop a strong emotional connection with customers. Additionally, creating a mailing list for customers with updates, special offers, and more is a solid strategy to stay on top of people’s minds when they aren’t actively engaging with your business, to remind them to come back or spark interest in something new that they might need. If you have something exclusive to offer, that’s even better, as people won’t want to miss out!
Share Your Values
What does your business do for your community, or possibly the world? Is there a cause that you stand up for, or particular values that you want to represent with your brand’s actions? People will often form emotional attachments and become loyal to brands that they feel also share their personal values. Don’t be afraid to share what you are all about, or the external causes that you support: you are likely to find like-minded consumers who are happy to support you and all that you do!
These are just a few of the ways that you can start to build brand loyalty with consumers. Can you think of any others? Let us know!
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