Loyalty in the simplest form is how a customer feels about a brand. It’s a process where your brand will need to earn in building trust and positive feelings from your customers to create an emotional attachment. Therefore it is a journey; not something that is achieved in a short period of time.
Observing and learning from Disney and Apple; even the mention of their names gave you a feeling and hopefully it is a good one! They have successfully built and incorporated positivity into their brands and customers consume their products repeatedly as they love to be associated with it. The reason customers buy their product or services is not based on price or their effective supply chain; but because they provide human elements in their offerings. So how do we create that emotion in your brand - let’s break that down.
1. Be Who They Want To Be
- Brands need to have an identity and a lifestyle that customers aspires to achieve. Think of what your brand represents and who that ideal persona it is trying to portray and continually implemented to every area of your business offerings; be it in the packaging or the way the service is provided. Apple is a lifestyle brand; exuding simplicity, usefulness, innovation and style. Customers want to own an apple product because they want to be associated as such; not just because their products are great. Customers are willing to pay a premium over the competitor’s products because the Apple team have done a fantastic job creating an aesthetics that many want to emulate.
2. Be Their Expert
- Becoming the customer’s expert in what you sell creates trust as you create additional value for them. The Oven Cuttery s a barbershop and home to Mentega, their very own line of grooming products. Through years of experimenting with crafting hair products that he personally liked, he successfully developed Mentega pomade that is loved by his customers. Coupled with his profession as a barber, this allows him to have experience in working with different clients to help him understand what works.
3. Be Authentic
- Customers are looking for a face or a person they can establish a relationship with. Get involved and visible to your customers so that they see your hard work and passion towards your work. It creates a strong emotional attachment which could lead to customer loyalty.
- The Apothecary Malaysia is a local business focused on handcrafting solid colognes and perfumes for the modern man. They not only create beautiful and good smelling products but shows off the people that are responsible in making it happen. Making their way to bazaars and markets to meet their customers face to face to showcasing their processes on social media goes to show that transparency and the human factor is vital in creating customer loyalty.
4. Be Personal and Helpful
- When you provide great service that makes your customer’s life easier, they will be more likely to return to your store compared to another even when your price is not as competitive as the others. myBurgerLab is a homegrown Malaysian brand specialised in selling burgers. They’ve trained and grown a team with company culture that makes everyone feel accepted and included from their customers to their employees! Their team called themselves geeks as they work in stores called “labs” and are a bunch of friendly, passionate group of young adults that embodies the vision of making the world a better place, one burger at a time. When a customer walks into a “lab” they will be welcomed by friendly faces from the door to the cashier and waiters. Customers also feel exceptionally appreciated as they get to enjoy exclusive deals and receive personalised messages and discounts during their birthdays via myBurgerLab+
So where does this leave us?
As it is, the strategies mentioned above are practically impossible to track and quantify. A loyalty program is supposed to be used in tandem with these emotional strategies to create a delightful customer experience. The loyalty program makes it easier to measure customer loyalty and quantify success with clear metrics. Here's the top 5 benefits of setting up a loyalty program:
- Know your customers
- Easy to track marketing effectiveness with data set
- Secure customer database in the cloud
- Fits into a total customer acquisition and retention strategy
- Creates a tangible reason for customers to stay loyal to your brand