Building Brand Loyalty with Consistency
Apr 19, 2019 - 9 min read
There’s no such thing as a golden formula that will guarantee the success of your company or organization, but years of research have resulted in the discovery of some components that certainly shouldn’t be ignored. One major factor to business success is building and maintaining brand loyalty. Loyal customers equate with returning customers. Brand loyalty is built on the foundations of consistency, creating brand recognition and trust. How can you build brand loyalty? 360 Stories is happy to present you with a crash course of all the basics. Get ready to take notes!
At the core of brand loyalty is a long-lasting relationship with your customer. These relationships need to be taken care of from the inception of your business on, as it should be one of the main focuses of your brand. The concept of brand loyalty is fairly simple. When presented with a choice between your brand and your competition, the loyal customer will pick you every time. This kind of preferential treatment is something that all business owners strive for, of course. Here we are going to discuss the steps you can take to give your brand that edge.
Before we dive in, let’s take a moment to look at the Pareto Principle, a nifty little concept, according to which, 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from 20% of your current customer base. Similarly:
20% of the input creates 80% of the result
20% of the workers produce 80% of the result
20% of the customers create 80% of the revenue
20% of the bugs cause 80% of the crashes
20% of the features cause 80% of the usage
What this means in terms of customer loyalty is that you need to focus on creating long-lasting relationships, loyal, repeat customers, finding your valuable 20%.
Another term you will need to keep in mind moving forward is the idea of a touchpoint. Touchpoints are moments when your customers come into contact with your company and they get some kind of experience. Hank Brigman’s definition is as such, “a touchpoint as an influential action initiated by communication, human contact or physical or sensory interaction. Each touchpoint is a message that literally "touches" a customer in some way. Collectively, touchpoints create the customer's experience.”
One key quality you need to maintain in order to gain brand loyalty is consistency, especially when it comes to touchpoints. Consistency is key. Consider, when your customers interact with your brand, during these touchpoints, are they getting the same experience every time? Everything from communication with staff, interactions with logos, your corporate marketing materials and company voice make up the overall experience with your brand. Consistency across every touchpoint will encourage your customers to not only be loyal customers but brand ambassadors as well.
The first step is first impressions. It’s not hard to imagine that customers remember brands the same way that they remember people. You either leave an impact, make yourself memorable (positively or negatively) or are easily forgotten. Their first experience with your brand is paramount. Did they enjoy their experience, did they have fun, were they bored or annoyed? What can you do to create a positive and impactful first impression? How can you make yourself more relatable to the younger generations? What colors should you use in your logo branding? What new innovative approaches can you take to be more attractive? Did you make use of the newest tech or the hottest platforms to reach out to them?
Find Your You
Stand out from the rest! Think about what makes you unique, what you offer that is original, different and exceptional. Once you find what makes you, you, spread the word and make sure people clearly understand who you are. Find what resonates with your target customers, offer them the opportunity to give you a try. Brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight, it is a process that takes time. It is something that is earned when you offer an unforgettable experience over and over again. It’s when you offer something that your competition doesn’t have. During this process, you build and drive your brand story. This should be the main focus of your marketing and communication. You want to keep reflecting what makes your brand stand out at every touchpoint with your consumers.
Walk the Walk
Let’s assume you learned to talk the talk, well now it’s time to walk the walk. Not only do you need to TELL your consumers what makes you special, but you also have to SHOW them. Nothing builds a bond with your consumers more than positive customer service experience with consistent quality. One positive encounter can seal the deal, one negative one will make them turn away from you for good. It’s very important to maintain high standards and good quality. “Every way in which your customers see, hear, taste, or touch your brand are opportunities to build on these positive experiences, eventually creating a relationship between buyer and seller that goes beyond price points,”- Stride Creative. If what you say and what you provide are not consistent with each other, you will lose that which is most important, trust. If, however, you play your cards right, your brand will be consistent in everything it does, making it well-known among your target customer base, making them think of your brand whenever in need, as well as bring others with them to join the brand community!
Treat your customers well, show them that they mean a lot to you. Customers can feel the difference between being treated like a number or being valued as an individual. You want to integrate a personalized and personable touch. When applicable you can integrate a customer reward system. Maybe consider celebrating customer birthdays, making them feel extra special by giving a discount or something free! These are just some ways for you to add a personal touch to how you interact with your consumer base.
Be approachable, accessible and available to your customers. Find the social media platforms where your target audience is and make engaging with them pleasant and fun! Consider incorporating the newest technology like AR or VR to give your organization that extra edge. Communication and engagement is a very important aspect in terms of presenting your brand. You want to make your brand relatable and engage with your customers as you would with friends. Stay current, be thoughtful with your content marketing, be funny and personable, give your customers a chance to express themselves, their opinions, their voice. You want to create an online community where your customers can be heard. Be quick to respond to their queries, and above all, be consistent! Remember, you have a goal to make every experience with your brand a positive one, making your brand irresistible, making them fall in love with you!
Today, one of the best ways to gain customer loyalty is by tapping into the Noble Edge Effect, according to which products of caring companies are seen as superior. That is, if you can appeal to the sympathies of the masses by doing charitable work, giving back to the community and rallying around a cause, it will attract loyalty to your brand and product. For this to work, however, it should come from a place of being genuine, not self-interest. As with everything you do, it is important to be authentic.
Yes, touchpoints are important but don’t go so far as to overwhelm your customer base by creating a constant flow of artificial touchpoints. It’s important to strike a balance between being accessible and engaging, and being annoying and needy. People who get multiple emails a day will likely either ignore them, delete them, or get completely put off by the brand over time. Be thoughtful with your marketing, allow people to opt in and out of your mail list, make sure that you are addressing their needs in these emails, perhaps sending them special discounts, coupons or information about upcoming sales. The more sincere your outreach is, the better.
Be Reliable, Trustworthy, Dependable
It is very important that you don’t forget to be reliable. This ties back to being consistent with not only what you say, but what you do. Constant changes and inconsistency in your brand give the negative impression of not being dependable, that choosing your brand is essentially making a gamble. That is not the message you want to be giving people. People engage with brands that they know and trust. “Consistency is the key to customer loyalty when customers see your products or services as dependable, they form a stronger bond with your brand. When customers build trust for your brand, it means they have had needs and expectations which you’ve been meeting consistently,” - Cxservice360
While there are a lot of components which go into building brand loyalty, 360 Stories feels that these are the most crucial starting points to consider. Of course, in our perspective, making the use of innovative technologies is a great way to not only make your brand stick out, be memorable and engaging, but can be used as a tool to spread your message and form a “tribe,” so to speak. Consistency, reliability, experience, engagement, being different, these are the main ingredients to finding your loyal base. If you liked this entry and found it useful, check out some of our other topics at our 360 Stories Blog!