Sales are the name of the game for any business operating online, or anywhere else for that matter – and while acquiring new customers is a vital part of the revenue generation process, building enduring brand loyalty is where there’s real money to be made.
Driving referral sales, amplifying brand recognition and transforming would-be one-off customers into devoted brand advocates, loyalty marketing delivers numerous benefits for brands looking to find and nurture their tribe.
Loyalty is a hard-won reward that’s essential to growing your own engaged brand community. Today, we’re taking some of the toil out of this pursuit by showing you how and where to start when it comes to building lasting brand loyalty online.
Invest in a memorable brand image
Your brand’s identity should be as multifaceted as your own personal identity, and your brand image (which includes but is by no means limited to your logo) should strive to express this complex identity in a largely visual way. History’s most iconic brands are recognisable from a hundred yards away, having permeated the public consciousness to the point that they’ve transcended mere business status.
It’s easier said than done, but do what you can to distance yourself from your brand and ask yourself whether your brand imagery would catch your eye on the street, in a lineup, on a busy supermarket shelf and in a crowded social media feed. If your branding doesn’t pass this test, it’s time to invest in an upgrade.
Ensure brand consistency across all channels
In order for a brand to be memorable, it needs to be consistent. If your brand takes a different shape every time a user is exposed to it, the user may very well not even make the connection. To breed this familiarity, ensure that your brand imagery, voice and wider identity are cohesive across all of your digital platforms – from your website and blog area to your social media accounts, email marketing activity and any other conceivable marketing materials you distribute.
As your audience gets to know you, trust will develop and your chances of securing that all-important first-time sale will skyrocket. Beyond that, though, and more importantly, remaining consistent in your ethos, principles and messaging will allow you to build the trust needed to drive not only one-off sales but long-term customer loyalty, as you demonstrate over time that your brand is trustworthy and dependable.
Align your brand with industry influencers
You’ll be no stranger to the weighty influence celebrities and industry experts can have on consumer buying behaviour. Of course, it’s possible to build a devoted customer base the organic way, but there are also benefits to fast-tracking this brand loyalty with the help of a relevant influencer’s endorsement.
Identify a public figure trusted and adored by members of your potential customer pool and make it your personal mission to align your brand with this almighty influencer. Whether you interview this industry icon for your blog, bag an influencer-made video review of your product or service, or launch a mutually beneficial partnership, anything you can do to earn the seal of approval from your influencer of choice will see your brand benefit from this flattering affiliation.
Make customer service a top priority
Customer service is the faithful sidekick to your product or service, and ever-increasing customer expectations mean that providing 360-degree customer support is now all but a necessity. This omnipresent customer service should begin the moment a user first engages with your brand online and should continue long after they’ve made their first purchase.
To foster loyalty between customers and your brand, your customer service function needs to seamlessly guide them through their shopping experience, which means responding to any and all customer queries in a timely, approachable and comprehensive manner. By continually giving your customers the right answers in the right way at the right time, you can begin to build a reputation for reliability – and reliability breeds loyalty.
Harness honest audience feedback
As recipients of your product and the customer service that accompanies it, your customers are the most qualified to judge where and how this product and service can be improved. A trusted brand encourages any and all feedback and views this feedback as a welcome opportunity to adjust and improve. Done right, this process is a circular one that repeats endlessly in the knowledge that there is and will always be further room for improvement.
Market research tools such as polls provide a simple yet effective means of generating honest customer feedback on various aspects of your product (e.g. quality, cost and efficacy) and service (e.g. response and delivery times, payment options and rep knowledge). By asking the big questions, you can gather valuable data that can be used to shape a better business and, in turn, better customer relations.
Keep your promises to your customers
Value is an inherently intangible concept, but absolutely vital for any brand to be deserving of a loyal customer base. Across your website content, social media communications and wider brand messaging, you make a promise of value to your customers – and in order to amass loyal repeat customers (as opposed to disposable one-offs), your brand must strive to fulfil this promise for each and every customer.
From promising a 24-hour turnaround and all user queries to promising free, 48-hour delivery on all customer orders, businesses make all kinds of promises to their customers – but the brands who enjoy loyal, lucrative and enduring relationships with their customer bases achieve this accolade by only making promises they have no doubt they can keep.
Our loyal clients choose our platform for the luxury of having state-of-the-art community-building tools at their fingertips. This is our promise to brands in search of their own devoted tribe. To get started growing your community today, simply request a free online demo of the Six Circles platform now.