Editor's Note: If we know anything about boosting brand loyalty and trust, we know it starts with everyone's most personal item: their mobile phone. When it comes to the power of the mobile channel for loyalty programs, Vibes helps brands across retail, restaurants, financial services, automotive, and other industries retain 97% of their mobile audience and drive $3B in incremental mobile-attributed revenue annually.
With that in mind, here are some tips on upping your effectiveness at fostering loyal consumers.
As businesses slowly return from more than two years of uncertainty, businesses are finding that their brands have been impacted. Internal organizational changes have affected workflows and processes including the communication necessary to maintain relationships. Shifts in the marketplace have altered consumer behavior and perception. Customer and audience relationships have become strained.
With the stress of finding a new normal, building brands back up can be overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. Now is a perfect time to seize this new state of things and find a way to make your brand work better. Even if the pandemic did not cause your business to struggle, now is the time to continue strengthening your brand.
Whether you are rebuilding or building up what you already have, having a strategy to foster brand loyalty and trust is key. Here are our top 6 tips for strengthening brand loyalty and trust to get back to business.
1. Reevaluate your target market
With shifts in the marketplace and consumer behavior, you may need to reevaluate your target market. Who is in need of your goods or services? Have new segments formed? Do existing segments no longer make sense for your brand? Conduct target market research to ensure you're reaching the right consumers at the right time in the right places. These insights will guide your communications moving forward. Make sure to take advantage of your existing and loyal customers by doing one-on-one intelligence gathering.
2. Remind your target market that you are the ideal partner
Present your brand as the solution that your target market needs. Always connect the products and services that you provide to the benefit that your prospective customers will experience by working with you. You want them to think that it wouldn't make sense to go with your competitors. Your brand is who they need. Build all of your communications efforts around this messaging.
Double down on your communications efforts by encouraging community. Building a bond with your target market will create a sense of inclusivity. Online spaces, like your website and social-media accounts, should be areas where your customers can bond with you and each other. Encourage them to interact and get to know each other. Make sure to keep your audience updated on your products or services and special offers. Prove that your brand is a leader in your industry and that your target market should want to be involved in your community.
3. Strive for brand consistency
Given that the last two years may have set your focus on branding back some, it might be time to reestablish your brand image and language. Keeping consistent with your branding will help build recognition with your audience base. The goal is to firmly establish the aesthetic of your brand enough that when one of your customers or audience members sees a social media post or an ad, they immediately know that it's associated with your business. That kind of recognition doesn't happen overnight, but ensuring that you are consistent with every piece of content you publish is the way to start.
Remember that branding can go much further than merely including your logo, brand, colors, and fonts on your content. It can go as deep as creating a personality for your brand -- similar to how marketers create customer personas to better understand market segments. This can be helpful when developing a brand voice that truly represents your organization. Brand consistency means that the mission, vision, and values of your company should be reflected in the visual aesthetic, voice, and messaging of all of your content.
4. Highlight and demonstrate your unique specialties
Differentiate your brand from others in the market by identifying and highlighting what your business does best and, more importantly, better than anyone else. This will help to position your brand as a leader in your industr and build trust with your audience, which will eventually lead to loyal customers. The more you can prove the high quality of your offerings, the more exclusive it will feel to your audience. Implementing a strategy similar to those that luxury brands use will create an image of exclusivity and increase demand for your brand.
Using video on your website and social media platforms is one of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise to your audience or customer base. Highlight your best products and services while connecting face-to-face virtually. Use video as a method of educating and informing your audience to further position your brand as an authority. This type of content adds value to your offering and inspires customers to keep coming back.
5. Drive retention with a loyalty program
The most effective loyalty programs will align customer incentives with brand values. For example, if your business is known for making products out of recycled plastics, you might also give a charitable donation to Rainforest Alliance for every purchase made. Not only does this make your customers feel good about spending money with your brand, but it also helps them align their own values with your brand. Connections based on core values make very strong relationships that keep customers coming back again and again.
6. Reward engagement with your brand
Marketing strategies that rely solely on "spend and get' incentives lose steam eventually as the competitive market drives your customers to find better deals elsewhere. That's why creating a community around your brand and focusing on relationship management are more effective strategies.
One of the best ways to drive connection is through engagement-based loyalty programs. Create meaningful connections with your audience members by inviting them to attend events, complete product reviews, share marketing materials, engage in social media campaigns, and more. Getting audience members involved in your brand will give them a sense of ownership of the brand and that they have some say in its trajectory. The fact that your brand values their opinions and involvement makes them want to give back by continuing to support your company.
Rebuilding brand loyalty and trust after the last few years will help your business and customer base feel like they are standing back on stable ground. Your ability to capture and hold onto the attention of your target market will depend heavily on your success in cultivating recognition, creating relationships, and building community. Some of the best strategies for doing this are brand consistency and loyalty programs. By investing in these areas, you'll create a space that will keep your customers coming back.
This article was written by Melanie Ammerman and Lauren Gall from The Business Journal - Central New York and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.