What is the concept of “brand loyalty” anyway?
I read once that “Marketing is the act of creating a customer. Branding is the act of creating an emotional link from your customer to your company.”
Right now, as we are teetering on the brink another round of the pandemic blues due to a combination of winter, the US election results, the flu season, and spikes in COVID-19 around the globe…it almost seems trivial to be concerned about brand loyalty as a topic.
Until you consider that getting your customers to stick with you during this mess could mean that you survive to the Spring of next year or not.
I guess loyalty matters after all if you put it that way…
Some Important Questions We Face About Loyalty
- Will your customers understand if their order becomes delayed due to the gigantic holiday traffic jam that is about to happen for USPS, UPS, and FedEx? When nothing is on time, who eats the fault sandwich?
- Companies in the industry are steadily going out of business. As that happens, their customers will start to migrate over to you. That’s a good thing, right? Not necessarily, as they are used to however those knuckleheads ran that shop. Stick to your guns on how you do things.
- Will customers accept substitute styles, colors, and sizes when availability in some type of inventory is non-existent?
- How patient will customers be as you operate with a limited staff when it comes to minor mistakes or even delays?
- As consumers are more willing to try new ideas on for size these days, what creative concepts or ideas are you bringing to market? Are you just trying to operate like you did last year?
- For your customers, which are more apt to stick with you regardless of what you do, and which customers may be hunting for someone new these days? How do you know the difference between the two?
The Work Ahead Of You Now
People and organizations are trying new things currently more than ever. Don’t think so?
Raise your hand if you have ordered groceries online, had more than one Zoom call a day, or spent at least one week since March working from home and realized that you didn’t wear shoes.
Do any of those sound familiar? One? Maybe all three?
Only a short time ago it would seem really weird to do any one of those examples. Now? It’s just a Wednesday.
Those “this is the way we’ve always done it” barriers have been coming down. This is a double-edged sword for your business.
This means more than any other time in recent history it is much easier to go out and get a new client that completely fits and is aligned with what you do best.
They were using someone else, but it seems ok to talk to you and give you a shot.
This means more than any other time in recent history it is much easier for your competition to go out and get one of your clients that completely fits and is aligned with what they do best.
That client has been using you for years, but it seems ok to talk to someone else and give them a shot.
Don’t Let the Fox in the Henhouse
Your job is to prevent this from happening.
For businesses all around the globe, many are shutting down because they are not adapting to how people are buying or what problems they are currently having.
They just simply chug along singing a happy song until they look up and wonder, “Hey, where did everyone go?”
Brand Loyalty is Driven By These Factors
Right now, there are a few constant things that are working. Are you thinking about these and building them into how you work?
- Be more human. Buyers want to see themselves in what you do. They want that alignment and emotional security.
- People want comfort. Right now any sort of friction drives buyers away, as people look for things that are easier or make them feel better. The world is on fire and having another cupcake makes a lot of sense emotionally for folks.
- Better experiences. Everyone can do things that are normal. Extra-ordinary, amazing, and over-delivering gets people talking. What are you doing to surprise and delight your customers?
- People want easy to access information. Do I have to look something up? When dealing with you is a pain in the butt I’m going somewhere else.
- Focus on the end result, not the sale. Quit being transactional and think long term. It’s not this sale that you want, it’s the twenty-third in a row.
- Zero Anxiety. Selling is not about money changing hands. It is about developing trust and relieving the customer of the anxiety that accompanies selling.
Brand Loyalty Starts with More Questions
How well do you know your customers? Are you talking to them or sending them surveys, and I’m not simply talking about developing your net-promoter score either.
Where are they struggling right now?
Even if it doesn’t mean buying from you, can you help them overcome that challenge? Loyalty starts with an extended hand.
You can’t do that if you are always simply reaching for what’s in their wallet.
“The foundation stones for balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love, and loyalty.” – Zig Ziglar
“Anyone can sell products by dropping their prices, but it does not breed loyalty.” – Simon Sinek
“Inside of every problem lies an opportunity.” – Robert Kiyosaki