Customer expectations have evolved significantly. It’s not necessarily good enough to make a satisfactory product anymore; rather, consumers are looking for brands they can fall head over heels for. When customers identify with your mission, they develop loyalty to your brand. This can lead to customers becoming evangelists, which drives inexpensive customer acquisition, and also sales conversion as you introduce new products to your existing customer base.
“A brand is built through consistency, engagement, and uniqueness,” says Christina Cole, Head of Communications at Bluevine. “To establish brand loyalty, you must build trust and credibility to strengthen the relationship with your customers, which will inevitably extend beyond a price-point decision.” This can drive revenue and make a big difference for your bottom line. It can also set off a domino effect that’ll bring new customers to your business—and keep them coming back.
Becoming a company that people love isn’t an overnight process: It’s all about putting something meaningful out into the market and connecting with customers through passion rather than just product. With Cole’s expert advice you can take steps to build a brand that’s deeply important to customers—and create something really special at that.
1. Be consistent.
Your mission, messaging, and even visual identity should come together to reflect one brand. Consumers need to understand your brand to fall in love with it, which means they have to trust what you represent; they should have confidence that the company you’re presenting actually jives with what you’re all about.
“Define your brand strategy and objectives and stick to it,” Cole says. Every brand decision should directly reflect these missions and your ultimate purpose, she adds.
It’s important that even your aesthetic has the same consistency. “This ensures your brand is recognizable no matter the medium or channel. In the end, this consistency may allow your customers to open their minds and checkbooks to new products and services from your brand.”
2. Be engaged.
Building brand loyalty isn’t one sided. Cole says that the two-way conversations you have with your customers are just as important as what you’re putting out into the market. That’s especially the case when there’s a lot of competition and customers can easily choose an alternative—so making sure they feel heard is crucial to attracting customers and keeping them.
Cole says, “Reward your customers for choosing you among the many by making them feel respected, heard and even inspired. It is this decision that could keep a customer coming back again and again.”
This engagement includes listening and responding to customer feedback as well as actively reaching out to them to find out what potential launches or changes would excite them. It’s also crucial to evolve your brand and message based on this feedback, so your customers understand that you’re listening, and that their priorities are yours, too.
3. Be unique.
There are a lot of businesses in the marketplace, so distinguishing yourself has never been more important. Part of the equation is making unique products that resonate with your customers, but also having a message and mission that’s all your own.
After all, if you’re indistinguishable from another brand that offers something in the same category as your business, what’s a consumer’s incentive to be loyal to your brand specifically?
Cole points to the wisdom of author and speaker Simon Sinek to help understand your value proposition: It’s easy to define what you do as a company—but the why you’re doing it is really the missing piece. That’s a far more difficult task.
“Getting to the why and purpose of your company will help uncover your differentiation,” Cole says. This can be huge for building that love for your brand. Then, once you’ve identified what drives you as a business, “lead with this so that when a customer chooses you, they feel like they are getting something special and unique.”
Above all, as you’re reviewing these tips and striving to build true brand love and loyalty, make sure you have a direct line into the people with whom you’re trying to connect. “Talk to your customers. Ask them why they chose you,” Cole says. “Then yell it from the rooftops.”