Are you an owner of one of the 2 billion iPhones that are currently in circulation? Would you ever consider switching over to an Apple competitor when it’s time to upgrade? Apple has successfully built the largest brand following in the world through relatable messaging, high quality products, and outstanding service that consumers absolutely love.
Creating a loyal following should be at the top of every brand’s radar. Establishing a base of loyal brand followers is often more important than acquiring new ones. It costs businesses five times more to invest in new customers than it does to nurture existing ones. By focusing on personalization, consistency, and quality, your brand can transform itself from an option into a must-have, like Apple has done over the past 20 years.
Keep Things Personal: Amazon Recommendations
Customers have come to expect personalized experiences from their favorite brands. Use customers’ emotions and past purchase behavior to your advantage and focus on making your brand align with what they love. Building an authentic relationship with buyers is critical for the long-term growth and success of your brand. For example, Amazon Prime fills their site and communications materials with recommended items based on a member’s purchase history. 35% of their sales come from the recommendation engine.
Engage Consistently: Sweetgreen
Keeping a customer’s attention with consistent messaging is necessary when building a brand relationship. It takes more than just a single purchase to gain a loyal customer. In fact, 37% of consumers believe it takes at least five purchases to become loyal to a brand. Consistency across digital channels is key to bringing customers back again and again. Sweetgreen’s branding, design and tone are all consistent across their social media, website, and emails in their seasonal campaigns. When you open a Sweetgreen email or come across an Instagram post, you can expect to see colorful vegetables and a reference to the freshness of their ingredients.
Deliver Great Quality: Patagonia
While customers value great service and personalization, quality is often still at the top of people’s lists of product requirements. Approximately 92% of customers will return to a brand if they receive great value in high-quality products and services. Take companies like Patagonia with generous lifetime warranties. Consumers are reassured about the quality of their purchases with Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee that protects their goods for a lifetime and promises repairs. Quality is Patagonia’s clear differentiator in the recreational apparel space and their customers are willing to pay a premium for great goods, customer service, and a meaningful company mission.
Offer a Customer Loyalty Program: Chipotle
Incorporating a rewards program is a huge incentive to keep your customer base happy and encourages brand advocacy. Make use of incentivized referral programs to help brand advocates spread the word about your offerings. Potential customers will value the opinion of someone they know over the claims made by a corporate marketing department.
Most major chains offer robust loyalty programs, tying into the high expectations that today’s consumers have when shopping for goods and services. Even a simple rewards structure like Chipotle’s point-based system will make consumers choose your brand over competitors.
You’ve put in the work to engage you target customer. Now keep them coming back for more by using one or all the techniques discussed above. Not every business can offer a lifetime guarantee on their products, but it only takes a bit of strategic thinking and creativity to satisfy the expectations of a 21st century consumer.