5 Ways To Build Brand Loyalty With Today’s Technologically-Savvy Customers
With the changing technological landscape and mobile devices becoming more pervasive and ubiquitous, businesses are finding that consumers are interacting with their brands in more ways than before.
Singapore has a very high smartphone penetration rate of 87%, and the way consumers are embracing mobile and mobile-related technologies mean that businesses will find that the traditional methods of building brand loyalty may not be as effective anymore.
As marketers, new and innovative loyalty marketing initiatives continue to surface every week, and mastering them is the key to staying relevant and consistent with a changing, competitive landscape.
One of the biggest challenges that marketers face is how to get more customers. A surprising finding has shown that the top goal for marketers is acquiring new customers, where over 9 in 10 companies cite customer acquisition as their highest priority when it comes to marketing objectives in the next 12 months, according to the Lead Generation report from CSO Insights.
This is surprising because studies have shown that not only is it 6 to 7 times more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, boosting customer retention rates by as little as 5% can result in up to 95% of increased profits.
When faced with this choice–the answer seems clear: marketers should target a group that spends more and yet costs less to reach, rather than to target a group that spends less and costs more to reach. Yet, this is easier said than done.
Once customers have been sold and have bought into a brand, their needs evolve. These customers now need to feel rewarded for their loyalty towards a brand, hence, the crucial importance for businesses to establish brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty is an all–encompassing term that includes things like ensuring consistent brand experiences to customers, and delivering compelling value for customers, so much so that the expectations of these customers are always met, or even exceeded.
Doing so will ensure that customers not only become loyal to your brand and buy your products and services; it also means that your customers become your brand evangelists, recommending your brand to their social circle of family and friends.
These recommendations, also known as word-of-mouth marketing, are effective and include a personal, emotional connection together with the value propositions articulated of your brand.
To help ensure your customers will remember your brand, here are five steps towards building better brand loyalty:
1) Tell a story of your brand–The fundamental reason businesses exist is to provide a supply of products and services that consumers demand for. However, in today’s competitive landscape, that alone isn’t compelling enough for consumers to choose your brand over your competitors.
You need to showcase your brand’s values and personality through stories that connect with your target demographic. Weaving powerful stories that tie in with the image of your brand will capture your customers’ attention and increase the top of the mind recall of your brand.
Promise something new or exciting that goes beyond simply stating a list of products, services, or prices, and you set your company apart from your competitors and establish a unique identity for your brand.
2) Anticipate your customers’ needs–Don’t be caught up with just selling and closing the sale with your customers. Learn how to listen to their needs and focus on what they really want or really need.
If you have access to your customers’ information and buying habits, analytics and intelligent tools can help predict future purchases or recommend products that your customers may not even know that they need. Make it a habit of delivering happiness and surpassing their expectations every step of the way.
By answering their needs and providing them with a reason to buy from your brand, your customers will likely return, and this is where loyalty programs can become more successful than just a pure monetary reward.
3) Connect with your customers through Social Media–Strive towards building emotional relationships with your customers at various touch points across the customer life cycle.
If you have the manpower, proper training and company culture will allow you to bridge the gap between your brand and your customers through your staff.
Otherwise, other methods such as digital marketing through channels such as Twitter, Facebook, or other means, can allow for you to quickly and easily connect with your customers on an individual level.
According to SocialMediaToday.com, 60% of interviewed respondents said that that will usually or always buy the product from the brand that they follow on Facebook and will likely recommend the brand to others. This number increases to 65% for Twitter followers.
Connecting and engaging with your customers on a regular basis shows your customers that you care for them as a brand more than just an anonymous transaction, and provides them with a reason and motivation to form a community around your brand.
4) Deliver personalized experiences–One of the things that digital marketing allows for is contextual, personalized marketing, derived from the buying behavior of your customers. Analyzing, profiling, and segmenting your customer base can provide highly relevant and customized interactions.
Not only can marketing campaigns be tailored to fit customers, it can even be conversational in nature, which changes marketing from being broad-market strokes to being a powerful relationship-building experience with customers. Done right, personalized and relevant marketing can make your customers feel that you understand them and are not just spamming them for the sake of pushing a deal to them.
5) Be consistent–Rather than having a mix of messages, unifying them and consistently delivering the same message across all marketing channels is reassuring to your customers and helps keep your brand top-of-mind.
Being consistent helps re-affirm your customers’ trust and credibility in your brand, and helps provide clarity of distinction from competitors.
Driving brand loyalty properly will increase repeat purchases from customers and improve the profit margin from existing customers. Your existing customers are the most valuable to your business, so create an emotional connection with them and reward their loyalty.
John Lee is a manager at Vodien Internet Solutions Pte Ltd, the leading enterprise and cloud hosting provider in Singapore. Vodien offers a comprehensive range of hosting products from basic hosting, to dedicated servers, and cloud hosting, all backed by 24×7 Super Support. Visit them at www.vodien.com or call them at +65 6288 6264.
Joel Fu is the Business Director of Conversion Hub Marketing – A SPH Associate Company. Conversion Hub Marketing provides affordable Facebook marketing and mobile app solutions for SME clients. Pricing starts as low as S$109/month. Visit www.conversion-hub.com or call them at +65 6844 3935.