Everyone has a few go-to brands you always pay attention to, seek influence from, and shop with regularly. That brand loyalty isn’t by mistake; it’s by design.
Companies work extremely hard to establish a brand people want to be a part of. And not just any people, those who will shop with and support the brand on a continued basis and bring their friends along as well.
But if you don’t have a loyal following, how do you create brand loyalty? What is it about a brand that resonates with audiences? Let’s dive in!
What is a Brand?
Most people associate “brand” with “logo.” While a logo is part of a brand, it’s not the brand itself. Would you identify with the Nike Swoosh alone? More, you are identifying with the values and message that come along with it.
A brand is the overall perception and reputation of a company, product, or service in the minds of consumers. It represents both emotional and psychological associations and can be a reflection of quality or values.
For every company or website, there are a handful of elements that all come together to create a brand.
- Personality: Brands often have distinct personalities that resonate with their target audience. This personality is conveyed through the brand’s voice, tone, and messaging.
- Values: The core beliefs and values that the brand stands for. Brands that align with customers’ values can create stronger connections and loyalty.
- Promise: The brand promise is the commitment to customers regarding the benefits or experiences they can expect from the products or services offered.
- Identity: This includes visual elements such as a logo, colors, typography, and other design elements. These elements help to create a recognizable and consistent image for the brand.
- Reputation: Overall perception based on the experiences and interactions customers have had with a brand. A positive reputation can lead to brand loyalty.
- Consistency: A strong and cohesive identity where all brand communications and experiences align with the brand’s values, personality, and promise is vital to long-term success. You can’t change with the wind.
- Emotional Connection: Successful brands often create an emotional connection with their customers through shared values, aspirational qualities, or positive past experiences.
Why is Brand Loyalty Important?
Brand loyalty is important because it helps you connect with customers and advocates. But more than that, a solid base of brand followers can increase sales and revenue. (Things that make every business owner smile.)
But there are plenty of other business reasons brand loyalty matters.
Loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from a brand. They have developed trust in the brand based on positive experiences, which leads them to choose the brand consistently over competitors. These same customers will have greater lifetime values, spending more with a company than other shoppers.
Brand loyalists are your biggest advocates and help keep your marketing costs down through word of mouth, effectively providing marketing that can lead to new customers.
Did you know that customers who have brand loyalty are less sensitive to price changes? Even if a product’s price increases, they’re still likely to buy. They are also likely to be first in line for new products or services and can even provide early feedback to help you improve.
Brands with a strong loyal customer base experience more stable revenue. Predictable revenue allows you to plan for the future and invest in growth initiatives more confidently.
How Do You Create Brand Loyalty?
If you have a new or young business, it can take time to create brand loyalty. Generating loyal customers is a long-term part of a solid business plan and can be instrumental in growth over time.
But how do you do it? Here are 10 tips to help you establish brand loyalty for the life of your business.
- Provide excellent customer service by promptly responding to customer inquiries, addressing concerns, and exceeding expectations. (This can be as simple as fast shipping or unique packaging.)
- Consistently deliver products or services that are high quality. This can be a significant factor in building trust and loyalty.
- Be honest and transparent in your business practices.
- Implement a loyalty program to reward customers for repeat business, or consider an ambassador program for your best customers.
- Be active on social media platforms where your target audience hangs out. Engage with customers, respond to comments, and use social media to build relationships.
- Provide valuable and relevant content that goes beyond selling products. Content marketing can establish your brand as an authority in your industry and create a deeper connection with your audience.
- Maintain consistent branding across all channels, including your website, social media, packaging, and advertisements. A cohesive brand identity helps customers recognize and trust your brand more easily.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews and feedback. Show that you value their opinions by making improvements based on their suggestions.
- Occasionally surprise customers with unexpected perks or gestures of appreciation. This can leave a lasting positive impression and strengthen loyalty.
- Continuously innovate and adapt to changing customer needs and preferences. Staying relevant and up-to-date will keep customers interested and loyal.
5 Brands That Do It Well
You probably have a handful of brands that you are loyal to and can name what about them keeps you engaged. Remember that as you try to build a brand for your business or website. Those same principles apply almost universally.
Looking for more inspiration? Each of these brands does a great job of creating brand loyalty and engaging customers or followers.
We’ll start with Nike because we already mentioned that athletic apparel behemoth. The “swoosh” logo and the brand’s commitment to innovation, performance, and inspiring athletes have helped create strong emotional connections with customers.
Another big company that you probably have in your home is Apple. Its customers are known for being passionate about the brand’s products, including the iPhone, iPad, computers, and other devices. Many customers are repeat buyers and some even camp outside Apple stores for new product releases.
Starbucks has created a loyal community of coffee lovers drawn to the brand’s cozy atmosphere, consistent quality, and diverse range of beverages. Many customers are loyal to Starbucks as their go-to coffee shop and buy swag to show support even when they aren’t drinking coffee.
LEGO has captured the hearts of generations with its creative and timeless building blocks. The brand’s commitment to quality and innovation has fostered a strong loyalty among children and adult fans.
Patagonia‘s dedication to environmental sustainability and ethical practices has attracted a loyal following of conscious consumers who align with the brand’s values, even people who do not consider themselves to be outdoor enthusiasts.
Brand loyalty is part of your overall strategy for growing a business. A strong brand is consistent among all activities and is true to its core mission and values.
Building brand loyalty is as easy as being true to yourself and establishing an emotional bond with like-minded people who will become lifelong customers.
Carrie Cousins has more than 15 years of experience in media, design, and content marketing. She works in digital marketing and is also a freelance writer and designer, specializing in creating amazing experiences online for small businesses. Her work has been featured in publications such as Design Shack, Webdesigner Depot, The Next Web, and Fast Company. She’s an avid runner, which comes in handy with Australian shepherds at home.