How to Build a Brand with Inbuilt Customer Loyalty

Special Guest Blogger - Victoria Greene

Customer loyalty is a powerful tool for brand recognition and sales. Countless people feel so connected to a specific brand, that they will refuse to buy from its competitors. 
It costs six times more to acquire a new customer than to convert an existing customer, and with numbers like this, it’s no surprise that companies work hard to establish brand loyalty from day one. But how can small businesses build a brand with inbuilt customer loyalty?

Let’s talk about brand loyalty: Coca Cola
The leading manufacturer of soft drinks has created a loyal base of followers through its brand and marketing. There are lots of people out there who would order a water instead of another brand of soft drink if Coca Cola was not on the menu. This is customer loyalty at its best - these customers have become brand evangelists.
Coca Cola has worked hard to promote a brand that millions of customers will vouch for. It’s created a product that pretty much sells itself. Even when packaging designs were altered over the years, customers remained strong and supportive.
The key to their success? Consistency and product loyalty. Times have changed, but Coke hasn’t. And people respond to that.

You’re selling a lifestyle
Successful entrepreneur Eric Bandholz takes marketing to another level with his online beard store Beardbrand. His advice for creating brand loyalty is “it's important that you walk the walk, i.e. the image you are trying to create of your brand is something you actually eat, drink, sleep and live”.
He suggests that the best way to build brand loyalty is remaining consistent across all channels. Eric’s social channels, like Instagram, complement his online Shopify storefront which uses the same type of imagery, promoting strong branding customers can identify with. Consistent branding and product quality is something that your customers will come to expect from your brand - this is how brand loyalty develops over time.

Customer service is your secret weapon
Build a brand interested in customer service to show your customers that you care about their experience with your company. Customers will remember that time when they called your customer service helpline and spoke to a helpful staff member, and they will remember the time your company accepted their returned product, even though they had missed the deadline by one day. Use customer service as your secret weapon to promote loyal customers.
Spotify is one of the leading brands for online customer service. It has won the “excellence on the web” award for its customer support and assistance: an award that it has snapped up two years in a row. SpotifyCares on Twitter will help customers with technical glitches, general advice and will even offer customers tailored music playlists for as a ‘thank you’ for their feedback.
Customer service is so important to user experience as it shows customers the true values of your business. It shows customers that your business cares about them and wants to offer a good service. It’s also in a business's best interest to invest in good customer service because acquiring new customers is more expensive than converting existing customers. Nobody can build brand evangelists and loyalty without first offering exceptional customer service.

Give something back to show appreciation
How many of you remember a time when a brand really took the time to reward you for being loyal to their business? This is something that is happening less often, but it always means so much. A small gesture can go a long way, like sending a discount voucher code to a customer on their birthday or celebrating with an email for the New Year. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can go a long way to building brand trust and loyalty among your fan base.
ASOS works hard to show its customers that its cares and appreciates them. It generates birthday emails, including discount vouchers, for customers on their birthday, promoting a loyal band of followers who feel appreciated. Such a simple gesture can go a long way in terms of customer experience and this will promote dedicated customers in the long-term.
Building a brand with inbuilt customer loyalty can be tricky. But as long as you put customers at the heart of your business, you will be able to establish a powerful brand that customers will be drawn to. Make a big deal about the little things and offer an exceptional level of customer service to promote a trustworthy brand customers will want to follow.
Victoria Greene

Victoria Greene is a freelance writer, brand marketing consultant, and ecommerce marketing expert. She works with brands both local and international to extend their online reach. She loves sharing her knowledge with other small businesses and entrepreneurs to help scale their business online. For more details click here.

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