Ways to Build Brand Loyalty
Strategy 1: Create An Amazing Customer Experience
Starbucks and Apple. What do they have in common? They are both brands built upon customer experience. Their founders understood their customers and created experiences that fed into their customers’ emotional needs.
How Can You Juice Up Your Customer Experience?
Is Starbucks really the best coffee in the world? Is Apple really that much better than Microsoft or Android? Many people would say no. But how fun is it to walk into a store and order your coffee exactly the way you want it? Or walk up to a counter and get to talk to a computer genius, who supposedly can solve your tech problems. How often do you get to do that in life? Companies should aim to deliver that same kind of customer experience in every aspect of customer interaction by:
- Doting upon their customers and providing unexpectedly remarkable customer care
- Embedding this attitude into their corporate culture so that everybody – from sales assistant to receptionist – focuses on delivering remarkable customer experience
Strategy 2: Surprise and Innovate
There are some companies that just never stop inventing. OK, it can be a little annoying because you never feel you are keeping up. But how many people just have to have that next generation iPhone?
How Can You Juice Up Your Innovation?
Never be satisfied. Even if your customers seem content, always be watching for that next innovation that you could install, or a new way to solve a problem. Then let everybody know about it – with enthusiasm.
Strategy 3: Reward Loyalty With Loyalty
I work out three times a week with a personal trainer. It’s not just that he helps me build up my strength. What I really love about him is his point of view when it comes to the people he works with. For one thing, he puts his most loyal customers first. Notice I said most loyal – not his most profitable clients, but those who have been with him the longest and love him the most. What is the result for him? He has a core group of raving fans, who sing his praises to all their friends and have helped him expand his business.
How Can You Juice Up Your Loyalty Program?
Take a look at the customers who have been with you the longest. Why are they so loyal? Are there ways that you can tie the bonds even tighter? Most of all, don’t take them for granted! Loyal customers get deeply and emotionally involved with your brand. And they spread the word.
Strategy 4: Be Responsive
A mid-sized law firm in the Midwest had a policy that a partner returned every phone call within 24 hours – no matter what. This level of responsiveness was so engrained into their culture that they didn’t even think about it. However, one very smart marketing executive realized how unusual this level of responsiveness was and created an ad campaign around it. The company even arranged that their phones be answered 24/7 and a partner was always on call. The result? Increased new business, which generated additional revenue.
How Can You Juice Up Your Responsiveness?
Companies that want to juice up brand loyalty don’t have to go too much further than this one. Do you return customer calls the same day? Is every problem dealt with quickly and decisively? Are you ahead of what your customers want and try to provide those things without being asked? If so, you are probably ahead of most of your competitors.
Strategy 5: Spend Quality Time With Your Brand
Of course you’re going to spend time marketing your brand. But it is equally important to understand your brand DNA – what it is that differentiates you in the marketplace and the visceral perception of your brand among your target market.
How Can You Juice Up Your Brand?
One of the strategies for strengthening a brand is to go back to your core values. What do you stand for? What is the ultimate quality that you want to deliver? How should the customer feel after every interaction? Disney is absolutely brilliant at this. They have a published list of core values that they use to train every employee. These core values are so imbued into their culture that every employee knows exactly what to do in every situation – from an ice cream scoop falling off a child’s cone in a park to the care they give to every piece of dialogue uttered by every animated character.
Brand loyalty is no accident. It takes a great deal of strategic thought and follow-up. It is a combination of impeccable customer experience, innovation, and responsiveness.