This piece was written by our summer intern, Courtney Chow.
Brand loyalty, for CPG and retail companies, can be tough to achieve, but once unlocked, can be a transformative force for a growing business. The below are four learnings that we believe creates the foundation for the future of brand loyalty.
1.) Align Offerings With Consumer Interest, Values, and Concerns
Consumer activity and attitudes are transforming. Traditionally, consumers have chosen national brands for emotional reasons: love, trust, and loyalty.
Today, those emotional ties have weakened due to growing dissatisfaction with large companies’ values and increased concerns over personal wellness, social, and environmental efforts/impact. Customers demonstrate support with their wallets, opting to buy products and supporting businesses that align with their broader set of desires and beliefs. And in this social era, consumers don’t just want to feel good about their purchases; they also want to utilize social media to share their story about their purchases. So, consumer sentiment is vital.
Leading with a worthwhile purpose and maintaining core values that appeal and resonate with your audience will be key.
2.) Tell The Story Better Than Anybody Else
Building a brand requires creating consumer awareness, trust, and then advocacy – and authentic storytelling is a must. People relate to stories. People remember stories (even when they forget names and faces). People recall how stories make them feel. Stories create an emotional connection between customer and company. When a customer buys a product, they should feel like they are buying a part of your story. (Take a look at Patagonia’s Worn Wear Program).
A brand should be honest and personal. What motivates you and your team? Why should anybody care? What makes you get up in the morning and come to work everyday? How will your company positively influence society? Asking these questions lets you dive deeper into your own truth and motives. And, your answers begin to build a more authentic brand story.
Today’s customers yearn for a more genuine and human connection. Brands are increasingly turning towards the people behind it to represent the company and connect emotionally with their users. A great example is Lyft’s #WhyILyft hashtag campaign. Lyft highlighted headlines and stories from real Lyft drivers and users, using their narratives to showcase a sense of community Lyft fosters amongst the company, drivers, and customers.
By capturing a deeper emotion behind the product or service, companies can truly connect with their targeted audience’s heart and mind.
4.) Engage Consumers With Ongoing Dialogue
Bain & Co. has discovered that customers, who engage with companies over social media, spend 20% to 40% more money with those companies than other customers. Customers want to contribute, co-create, and help mold the behaviors and actions of the brands they love.
Trust is built and lasting relationships are formed through genuine interactions over time - answering questions, hearing and supporting ideas, etc. These touch points should be able to happen anywhere and at anytime, and you want to be able to engage with consumers in the context of their everyday lives – to provide immediate services and remain in the forefront of their minds. When the time comes, customers choose brands and products they’ve learned to trust over a series of favorable experiences.