Five Steps to Increased Brand Loyalty
One of the biggest challenges facing marketers is retaining customers. Once customers have purchased your product, they need to be approached differently because they do not need to be sold on the product anymore. Instead, they need to feel rewarded in order to make the decision to stay loyal to a brand.
Sometimes, though, companies offer no real sense of reward to their new customers and may even ignore them with the exception of sending advertising to them every now and then.
So how do you build repeat business from those who have purchased your product? You build brand loyalty.
The key to brand loyalty is to build an emotional attachment to your brand. When customers become loyal they not only buy your product or service they also recommend your brand to their colleagues and act as brand evangelists.
To help ensure your customers will remember your brand, here are five steps to build brand loyalty:
- Establish an ongoing relationship. In his book The Marketing Imagination, Ted Levitt of the Harvard Business School discusses the importance of forming a strong relationship after the sales is made. Customers expect it, but companies tend to ignore it; they put the customer into a database and only call on them when they want to show a new product or service. Instead, you want to create a process that delivers unique customer-only benefits that ensures the customer knows they are welcome and part of the “family”. Plus, it is imperative that the entire company is involved in making the customer feel like part of the team, not just the sales people.
- Connect with your customers regularly. Connect and engage with your customers on a regular basis. Be present at touch points which matter most to your customers and put effort into building the emotional connection. Do this by providing opportunities for the customer to connect with you. Customized email newsletters, exclusive videos about product usage, problem-solving guides, online service representatives, and special training all work together to build the loyalty within your customers. Provide your customers with value and motivation and create a community that builds buzz around your brand.
- Anticipate their needs. Once the customer has purchased the product, do not start the sales process all over again. Instead, listen to their needs and focus on what your customers want to accomplish with your product. Customers are looking for success in their own arena, so find ways to offer them additional value where they want it most, which is anywhere it will help them gain an advantage over their competitors.
- Help them discover new opportunities. Most customers would like to take advantage of the newest trends happening in their industry. However, many do not have the time to research those trends in order to find new opportunities. You can help with this by pulling together industry information and making it available to your customers. When you are familiar with a customer and their goals, many times you can see opportunities that they may not. A wise company uses this to build the relationship through information-sharing that is beneficial to the client.
- Be consistent. Consistently delivering the same message and performance through all lines of business is reassuring and helps keep your brand top-of-mind. Being consistent in your actions and dealings with your customers helps re-affirm the trust and credibility in your brand that you have built and helps provide distinction from your competitors.
To summarize, in order to establish brand loyalty you must go above and beyond expectations once your customer has purchased your product. Go the extra mile in order to set your brand apart from your competitors. Putting processes into place that will develop a strong and ongoing relationship with your clients will ensure a base of loyal customers who will purchase from your company again.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.