Brand loyalty definition may seem simple, but we want to get a bit deeper and help you learn how to build that loyalty and easily measure it. This way, your brand’s revenue and recognition may skyrocket, but only if you do it smartly.
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When we talk about brand recognition and loyalty, it’s all about how you work with your customers before, during, and after the purchase. Brand loyalty is made of trust, customer satisfaction, and other things that you can and should control. Today we review the fundamentals of why brand loyalty is so important.
1. What Is Brand Loyalty?
Our brand loyalty research will start with the very basics. What are we talking about at all?
Whenever your customer goes shopping and has a chance to choose another brand, but still decides to go to you instead — this is that brand loyalty every business owner dreams about.
Even though this brand power is determined by your clients, it takes a lot of work to impact that and ensure that your client walks through the levels of brand loyalty to become your fan.
Things like brand awareness and social presences are just a few to name when we talk about the essential elements that can help you build that loyalty.
One of the best things about brand loyalty is the fact that many people tend to buy things from you no matter the convenience and price. They just want to own a piece of your product, and they don’t even want to hear anything about the competitors.
You can always say that Xiaomi is great because of its price, but Apple brand loyalty is still rock solid among those who should be a Xiaomi user if he/she just tried it. They won’t. Even if they had to waste a whole salary to buy the latest iPhone, they wouldn’t consider trying a more affordable phone. That’s how loyalty looks.
It’s actually very hard to build brand loyalty nowadays due to the high competition in almost every business niche. That’s why it’s easy to say that the Apple brand loyalty should be a great example for you, but not every trick they use will help your brand in 2019.
Every brand on the market that has loyal customers has something unique to offer. iPhone is all about design, trendiness, and innovations. Subaru helps you get wherever you want, no matter how tough is the road. Nike helps you feel yourself a part of the running society. All of these brand loyalty examples prove that working on your customer retention may yield unbelievable results.
2. Levels of Brand Loyalty
When users just get familiar with your brand or start with a small purchase, he is slowly becoming your fan already. However, it all depends on your efforts, whether he will move up the brand loyalty pyramid or no.
Let’s look at the following infographic to understand the levels of the brand loyalty that your customer experiences while interacting with your brand from A to Z.
As you may see, one of the most sensitive audiences is the one that cares about the price and looks for more affordable options. I understand these people, we all do. Sometimes it’s just crazy to waste too much money on something you can get cheaper.
These people usually do not become loyal to specific brands; they may choose your brand one or two times simply because you had a great sale and offered the best price for the sneakers he wanted to get for decades.
Whenever your client makes one or two purchases, there are two roads you he can take. He either likes the quality of the product and services you provide or not. If he does, he may come back later; his mind will remind him that he had a positive experience with your brand, and he will buy again. However, this is still not a loyal enough customer.
Once your customer starts to consider your brand as a friend, you’re on the right track. Those who like a certain brand and tend to enjoy every interaction with it will most certainly come back to shop your latest collections.
Of course, when we talk about brand loyalty, we all aim for the committed buyers. The real fans define brand loyalty and make it a thing. Those people waiting in the line for the latest Supreme t-shirt or having a sleepover near the store to get the latest shoes from Kanye are the real deal. These are the best examples of the highest level of brand loyalty. They will not consider wearing other shoes or t-shirts; they want to get those exact brand pieces.
These are the levels of brand loyalty that your clients may or may not experience. Read on, and we will give you the essentials of building this trust with your clients.
3. How To Measure Brand Loyalty
But first, let’s learn how you can measure brand loyalty. Everything in marketing can be measured, no matter what your freelance CMO says. That’s what we all love in marketing and why it works so good. So let’s see how to see whether your customers are loyal to your brand or not. Here are the basic measurable elements of brand loyalty.
You can either meet the customer’s expectations or not. You can even exceed them, but you must always ensure that you’re not playing catch up. To check if your average client leaves your store satisfied, you’ve got the ask yourself the following questions:
- Was it a convenient transaction?
- Would you be happy if you were in the client’s shoes?
- Was the interaction with your brand better or worse compared to your competitors?
- Did your employees manage to actually help or just annoyed the customer?
- Would you recommend your store to someone?
Since there are particular questions to ask, it’s a popular thing to run surveys with the customers to get these questions answered. Please make sure you do not annoy your clients while running these surveys.
Good transaction with your brand is essential to getting a committed customer. And a commitment is a fundamental part of loyalty.
Some marketers tend to think that trust is only important to companies that handle sensitive information like banks and financial institutions. We cannot agree with that. It’s important to gain trust among your committed buyers even if you just sell TVs or laptops.
Just think about it: isn’t that important to trust the store employer that recommends you a laptop? He must be good at it and help you choose the most suitable product.
This trust is an important step towards your buyer considering your brand a friend.
Consider this to be one of the most important measuring elements. Esteem lets you understand if you’ve earned that level of brand loyalty when your client most likely prefers you over your competitor.
Esteem is about knowledge about your brand (not brand awareness). This is about your client knowing more information about your brand than just the fact that you have a cheaper version of sneakers he wants.
A simple survey can help you check out the esteem and find out whether your clients prefer your brand over the competitor and whether they refer to your brand positively.
5. Building Your Brand Loyalty
Let’s face it; experiencing brand loyalty is way easier than building one. However, we want you to know what it takes to build it. Follow these simple steps, and your customer retention and loyalty will change dramatically.
Know Your Customer
You won’t be able to build trust and loyalty if you do not know your audience. Learning more information about the clients you serve daily is key to the success of your business.
Only if you know the needs and desires of your end consumer, you will be able to target your efforts properly and turn him into the real fan of the products you make. Knowing your audience gives you unique triggers to control the behavior and reaction of the clients. This is not just the first step; this is the most important step.
Otherwise, why would you need a loyal customer if you do not even want to know who he/she is?
Take Reviews & Feedback Serious
Taking a look at your reviews and getting back to your customers to resolve their issues is the key to your relationships with them. Loyalty is all about relationships and a strong bound that you have to build between you and your consumer.
User experience should be smooth and emotional, never forget to resolve even the smallest issue that your client has, had or may have.
Tell Your Brand’s Story
The brand story aims to resonate with the empathy of your client. A powerful brand story helps you stand among the others with a unique approach or unique background that your company had.
That is something your loyal customers will discuss on a coffee break with their co-worker while showing them what they’ve got in your store. This is what powers the interest of the audience.
Achieve The Social Proof
Social proof of your brand can be built via various social channels. You can work with the influencers, celebrities, or target a certain niche with a powerful collaboration with another brand of this niche.
Just as an example, Revive skateboards brand works with all major skateboarding stars, and this nailed the social proof for them. Of course, it’s important for you to have a really top-notch product. Getting the social proof without quality is a dead end.
Even if you run an eCommerce business, you will still have employees that will work with your customers. It really matters how these employees handle each sale and how they perform customer retention later.
When we look at the brand loyalty pyramid, we see that ‘feeling like a friend’ attitude of the loyal customer. Well, employers are the ones nailing it for you. They’re the representatives of your brand, the ambassadors that interact with your consumers.
Not all of the big brands do personalization well because of how scaled their business is already. It may be hard to use a personalized approach if you’re as big as Apple. However, it will work great for a brand of a reasonable size or a brand that targets a specific niche.
A personalized approach is that magic sprinkle that makes your client go wow and remember their interaction with your brand. It’s an essential part of the relationship that you aim to build with him or her.
Even though it may not sound natural and can seem not fair enough, we all know that rewards work just great. No, it’s not a bribe. It’s about telling the client that you’ve noted how loyal he is and you want him to remember that you value that loyalty.
Almost every brand has a loyalty reward program that serves as a motivation to clients that express a certain level of devotion to your brand.
Final Thoughts: Is Brand Loyalty Worth the Hassle?
The short answer is ‘Yes, it does,’ but let’s see why we think so. Statistics show that 43% of consumers tend to spend more money with the brands they’re loyal to.
More than 80% of consumers are loyal to certain product brands, and this number is not going anywhere lower. Doesn’t it mean anything to you?
No matter the size of your business, you’ve got to start the work on the brand loyalty from the very first days of the brand’s existence. You won’t be able to achieve huge success without loyal customers. That’s why you should make sure your customer retention process works like a swiss clock. It is always more profitable to invest in returning customers than hunting for new ones. The customers that return — this is the core of your business and will always be. Without them, you’re just a boring retailer with no story or background, no value and relation to their lives.