Who’s fault is it that your brand doesn’t have a loyal audience?
When it comes to audience loyalty, many brands would rather blame their audience or their competition for their lack of loyalty. While those things may exacerbate the issue, it’s not really the core of the problem.
When establishing true audience loyalty, you need to evaluate internal practices before placing the blame on external factors.
Foundation of Brand Loyalty
Your brand should have three things to establish brand loyalty: reputation, credibility and integrity.
If you find the foundation of your brand is lacking in one of these areas, your customers will notice, and they won’t feel the same loyalty towards your brand they may otherwise.
Let Trust Lead Loyalty
The purpose of building a strong brand foundation with reputation, credibility and integrity is to build trust. With trust, you’re more likely to earn your audience’s loyalty.
“The reward for earning trust is a big one: loyalty.”
Strategies to Establish Brand Loyalty
Find Your ValueAs a brand, you need to justify the reason that you exist. That justification is your brand purpose, and your brand purpose should act as a guiding light. You can find your brand purpose where your brand meets your consumers needs and wants and in what separates you from your competition.
Dove is one of the strongest examples of brand purpose. Their mission is something far more profound than selling soap and beauty care products. Dove has been using its brand to improve the self esteem of women and girls all over the world. They recognized that low self esteem in girls is a serious problem, and they’re actively trying to educate the world on how serious that problem is.
Through their #speakbeautiful movement, Dove is encouraging women to use social media to say positive things about themselves and others in order to gain confidence in their beauty.
While this doesn’t directly earn Dove a profit, it does make their brand easier to relate to, as their purpose is something anyone can agree with. With the #speakbeautiful campaign, Dove can impact the world while making money.
Develop Your Unique Voice
Your brand’s voice is an integral part of developing brand loyalty. When you have a unique and consistent voice across all communication, you’re showing your audience consistency which lends itself to credibility.
Your voice needs to be unique to your brand to set you apart. Customers are more likely to be loyal to an organization who stands out from the crowd. In an age of written communication (think emails, blog posts, social media posts and more), it’s incredibly important to find your brand’s voice.
Free People has a very unique brand voice. While Macy’s or Barney’s may have similar clothing styles (and even sell Free People items), they don’t have the same voice as Free People. Free People knows their brand isn’t just about clothing– it’s about the lifestyle its customers embody. With a target market of easy-going women who prefer cool and comfortable clothing, they need to have an entirely different tone than Macy’s. If you look through Free People’s Instagram, their pictures and captions portray exactly what they’re trying to appeal to. Never will someone mistake a Free People post for Barney’s or Macy’s.
Taco Bell also has a very unique voice. Witty, funny and often irreverent, Taco Bell has nailed it in a refreshingly weird way.
You’re cute and all, but Taco Bell.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) September 16, 2017
You deserve the world. And lots of tacos. 💜 https://t.co/6Qa40qw374
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) August 20, 2017
Always get the extra taco. Better to be safe than sorry.
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) July 19, 2017
Push Out Content
Your target audience will be more loyal if you can prove to them you have something to offer other than a sales pitch. What can you produce that doesn’t cost anything but time? Content. Content on your website serves to build you up as an expert in your field.
Everyone listens to the expert, and you want to be known as the expert.
A 2017 NewsCred survey found that 62 percent of millennials feel that online content helps drive their loyalty. Even Starbucks is jumping on the content-creation bandwagon. As weird as it seems, Starbucks is officially becoming a content-producing company.
Kill Them With Kindness
“The smartest companies are quickly adapting to changing consumer behaviors and needs, extending customer service beyond just phone and email to mobile apps, text messaging, chat and social media.”Paul Jarman
It ruins a brand’s reputation when an awesome product isn’t backed by awesome customer service. InContact published a study that found 56 percent of consumers will switch brands if they receive better service options from a competitor. More than half of adults in America said they would consider switching brands for a service if they were offered more channels to connect with the brand. And thanks to the Internet, consumers are finding it even easier to find channels to communicate and different brands that will treat them the way they want to be treated.
At the end of the day, without your customer, you can’t do anything. Having great customer service is a great way to build customer loyalty and build brand loyalty.
No one embodies the “kill them with kindness” attitude like Amazon. In polls, Amazon consistently rises to the top when it comes to great customer service. Powered with an omni-channel customer service system, disgruntled customers can immediately receive instant gratification with immediate and full refunds.
Their customer-centric focus has fostered transparency and trust between them and their users as they go the extra mile to gratify their customers. We can learn a lot from Amazon’s customer service approach. They exemplify the many ways a brand can successfully simplify the customer experience and maximize satisfaction.
Brag On Your Brand
With 88 percent of consumers looking at metrics such as online reviews, social media posts and other indicators of quality, brands need to invest in making that information readily accessible. Customers invest a lot of time in doing their research. If one brand has all their reviews public and easily accessible while another one doesn’t, customers may be more likely to purchase from the original brand and continuing purchasing from them.
Other assets, like case studies, can be beneficial to clearly define what type of ROI your brand can bring to a customer. Within the case study, the results are laid out in a definitive manner for curious customers to digest without working too hard to find and interpret.
At Hummingbird, we like to showcase our hard work under our portfolio section. There, you can see our case studies, creative portfolio, video portfolio and web design. From web design to full service branding, we love taking the opportunity to strut our stuff. We also like to showcase our reviews and testimonials from clients.
Make Customers Feel Important
People want to know that they matter, so find ways to make your customers feel special. If you acknowledge your customers for the value they bring to your business, you’ll build brand loyalty. Making customers feel special is simple.
Train employees at brick-and-mortar locations to greet everyone with a smile and acknowledge customer entrances with a friendly greeting. In a digital landscape, responding to customer comments on Facebook, Twitter and more is a great way to make someone feel like their voice matters and you’re taking their feedback seriously. If they say it, they want you to hear it.
Appreciating a customer can be as simple as saying “thank you” on a good review. You can also do a customer of the month program or even a rewards programs.
CVS has an excellent customer rewards program. With the CVS ExtraCare card, a free rewards system, customers can earn 2% back on all purchases and save money during member-only sales. Vitamins may be offered at a buy-one-get-one free for program members, and they get an additional 2% back on their purchase. ExtraCare emails are sent out with additional savings or even “free money” to spend within the store. The CVS Pharmacy app makes filling prescriptions and finding additional savings a snap. Additionally, their “send to card” option means customers don’t have to print and remember coupons.
With a free program that has great rewards, customers are more likely to join and remain loyal to their favorite brand.
Why do you think so many stores offer in-store credit cards?
Sometimes, fiascos are unavoidable. The best thing to do when in the midst of an unfortunate PR situation is to tell it all and tell it fast. But, you can also use what you might consider a low moment for your brand to build customer loyalty. People tend to respond well when a brand apologizes and accepts their mistakes.
In 2011, the Red Cross went rogue when an employee mixed up their personal twitter with the brand’s.
Luckily, Wendy Harman, the social media director at the American Red Cross, came in and saved the day.
What could have been a horrible accident that lost the Red Cross supporters turned out fine because it was faced head on.
To establish audience loyalty, you need to build your reputation on credibility and integrity. When your audience receives a consistent and authentic experience every time, they interact with your brand, you’re more likely to see audience loyalty.
When you show people you care about them, they’ll return the favor.