More than anything else, every business owner wishes they could build brand loyalty.
That’s because brand loyalty is one of the biggest factors in determining whether or not a business will be successful. With it, a business can have a steady cash flow, attract new customers by word of mouth, and have a stable support base through difficult times and ups and downs of the market.
It all sounds just great; where do I sign up? The problem is that whereas brand loyalty may be simple enough to talk about, building it is far from an easy task.
And it’s even more difficult when you consider that forced attempts to build brand loyalty can make a business seem in-genuine and start to repel rather than attract loyalty in your customers.
As with many things in life, to understand something better it’s a good idea to start by looking towards those who do it best. Here are a few of the top methods used by the world’s most successful businesses to build brand loyalty.
A Relentless Focus on Quality
To build brand loyalty, you’ve got to strive each day to perfect the product or service you offer. You could follow each of the other steps perfectly, but without a great product in place and a determination to continually improve it, you won’t get any support from your customers.
Take Nike, for example. If Nike didn’t strive each day to produce the best possible products then their customers would quickly move onto the next brand. Customers are loyal to businesses that fulfil their promises, and there’s no way this is demonstrated more than through effective marketing and social media campaigns.
A Focus on Two-Way Engagement
Any functional relationship works two ways. The best brands understand this and thus make it a priority to create a dialogue with their customers, get them in on the action, and begin building a strong and meaningful relationship.
Social media has become one of the main avenues for this type of conversation, and you can see how successful the largest brands are in using it to start a dialogue, whether it’s around a topical debate or a story built on user-generated content.
Let’s stick with Nike for an example.
The company receives an incredible amount of engagement on social media, and it recently pushed this conversation to the extreme with its recent Kaepernick ad:
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
This ad worked so well for Nike because its aim was to deliberately test the loyalty its customers had for the brand, and in doing so break or strengthen it. The contentious topic created a powerful conversation and as a result, Nike’s market value surged by $6 billion (£4.5 billion) — despite undoubtedly having lost a portion of its following.
A Focus On Brand Consistency
Brands have never been so ubiquitous. They appear on our social media newsfeeds, in our homes, in digital or print ads, and every other place you can imagine. This is a powerful opportunity for brands, but also a big risk if poorly executed.
The chance to get in front of more peoples’ eyes means more attention, and more attention, when building loyalty, can be like walking a tightrope. Brands that have a weak presence and inconsistent message can become one of those one-purchase and quickly forgotten names. Those that have a consistent message and bold approach will find audiences are far more receptive to becoming repeat and loyal customers.