Spur-of-the-moment purchasing decisions happen without much thought, but brand loyalty takes time and cultivation. While a quick purchase decision may be based on marketing or gimmicks, real brand loyalty is built on consistency and relationships. The best way to foster brand loyalty is to simply do a great job. Put out an excellent product, stand behind it and give your customers a good reason to reward you with their repeat business.
What is Brand Loyalty?
Brand loyalty is customer commitment based on an emotional connection to the products and services you provide. Although the digital age bombards customers with ongoing stimuli, products made and delivered with care still make a lasting impression. Savvy entrepreneurs can foster brand loyalty through social media and effective marketing. However, customers are unlikely to stay loyal unless your brand truly delivers something they feel is worth owning or experiencing. Customers may stay loyal because of your products' features or dependability. They may also support your brand because they value the intangible qualities that your brand represents, such as hipster style or old-fashioned reliability. Whatever it is that keeps your customers loyal to your brand, you must continue to deliver it well to keep them coming back for more.
Brands That Foster Loyalty
The retail apparel company L.L. Bean fosters brand loyalty by offering an exceptional product guarantee. You can return or replace any item, for any reason, even after years of wear. Some customers may abuse this policy and return products frivolously, but the company's firm commitment to its brand breeds an extraordinary level of loyalty and trust.
Apple Inc., the world's largest information technology company by revenue, has fostered a legendary degree of brand loyalty by designing innovative products. It reaches out effectively to customers who value the cutting-edge design and emphasis on user experience.
Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota has built a consistently loyal customer base by emphasizing value and reliability. They have designed streamlined systems that produce high-quality vehicles at fair prices.
Brand Loyalty Strategies
The most effective brand-loyalty strategies emphasize and reinforce the steps that you already take daily to reach and keep customers. L.L. Bean may advertise its return policy as the best in the business but unless customers see this claim in action through repeat business, they are unlikely to stay loyal. Apple markets innovative products, but unless customers can creatively engage with these products, they will check out other brands.
Devra Gartenstein founded her first food business in 1987. In 2013 she transformed her most recent venture, a farmers market concession and catering company, into a worker-owned cooperative. She does one-on-one mentoring and consulting focused on entrepreneurship and practical business skills.