One of the loftiest goals someone in the ad space can have, is brand loyalty. It takes expert planning and exquisite execution to promote. You must constantly be working to understand your consumers; predicting and responding to their needs. There are all kinds of ways that brand loyalty comes to fruition. Following, find three of the most common—considered.
The Silently Dedicated
You must appreciate and protect any and every kind of brand loyalty you are lucky enough to experience. However, if you were to ignore just one—this would be it. These are customers that use your product or service frequently; perhaps exclusively when they’re in the market. But, the only people who know about it are you, and them.
The silently dedicated customer never shares their experience. They may even go out of the way to distract from the fact that they are loyal to a particular brand, for whatever reason. They may feel shame, or embarrassment for reasons that are beyond your control. It is important to try to understand and resolve this, but it can be quite a challenge.
Obviously, these customers are important and efforts must be made to retain their business. You may even be able to convert them to another type of brand loyalist that is way more valuable. Yes, there are other brand loyalists that deserve a much higher recognition for their service.
The Loudmouth Cheapskate
They might not actually be a cheapskate, but, for whatever reason, they just won’t purchase anything from you. However, they love to shout about you and your message. From the roof top, the mountains—the town square.
Perhaps it does stem from wanting to be associated with your brand, but not being able to afford or justify the purchase. Whatever the reason—they really care about your brand, and one day, might close the deal. But for now, it is important to keep them entertained.
This can be achieved through ‘behind-the-scenes’ type content on your social channels, and partnering with influencers they follow. If your brand is much more established, and has a story to tell: work with a crew to produce a documentary style feature. Create Snapchat filters that allow them to directly interact with your brand, at some level.
If you’re in it, make sure your retail teams are aware that walk-ins who don’t buy are still customers. Their interactions impact the perception these consumers have of the brand, and they could be responsible for converting one of these loudmouth cheapskates into a loudmouth-er badmouth-er (let me know in the comments, if you have a better term for this one).
These potential customers must always be thought of as such, and should be considered throughout your brand activity and messaging. Perhaps consider developing some sort of lower-value product that would allow this consumer to break into your brand, and hold their commitment.
The Every Day Influencer
A healthy balance of the previous two; these consumers may not have the largest audiences, or the widest networks—but they have, or have almost, completely integrated your brand into their lives. They use your brand frequently, and will ask friends and family if they’ve tried it. They probably follow and interact with you on social media; they may even buy brand ‘merch’ to proudly show their association.
These are perhaps the most important consumers your brand can have. They provide you with a steady stream of income through regular purchasing patterns, but they also do marketing for you.
There still is, and always will be, so much power in word-of-mouth marketing. People love to make recommendations, take recommendations, and pass along recommendations. This is a cycle that benefits your brand immensely, and you should be doing everything you can to foster this mentality among your customer base. This will allow it to grow continuously, and naturally.
Although—don’t think you’ll get to skimp out on advertising costs once you achieve some level of this. That’s part of the maintenance.
It Takes All Kinds
All of the afore mentioned brand loyalist styles are beneficial to your brand. Some, just want to quietly give you money, and move on. Some, serve as micro-influencers—and the only cost to you are the efforts you make to keep them loyal.
This means consistently investing in, and improving, your product and your brand. Spend time listening to all of your consumers. Try to decode how many fall into which categories—and figure out how to convert them to the one that is most effective for your brand.
Spend time learning about your consumers, today, and every day.
What makes you loyal to a brand, if any? What other brand loyalty characters can you think of? I’m looking forward to discussing your thoughts in the comments!