In the business world, two important factors that differentiate laggards from leaders are – Branding and Loyal Customers. Branding is the distinct identity of a brand that separates it from its and competitors and loyal customers are the backbone of a strong brand. According to Harvard Business Review, “Loyalty leaders grow revenue roughly 2.5x faster than their competitors.” Loyalty and Branding have a tremendous impact on revenue and the brand’s overall market standing. Let’s explore their correlation and ways to foster loyalty.
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The Power of Branding and How Loyalty Influences It
In the age of complete digitalization and the reign of eCommerce platforms, branding cannot be considered an afterthought. When you are standing against a thousand competitors, your brand identity becomes your defining factor. It is the driving force that separates you from others, embodies the core values that your brand advocates and most importantly gives you a competitive edge. From the customer’s perspective too, brand image and the importance of branding is crucial aspect. A recent report by Forbes states that 86% of consumers prefer an authentic brand image and honest personality, especially when it comes to social media driving digital trends and changing how we look at brands in the future.
One of the core pillars of branding is brand loyalty. Dedicated and loyal customers define a brand’s image in the market and give an assessment of the brand’s reach and power. Loyal customers are not just fervent repeat purchasers but are also strong brand advocates. They passively influence potential customers and act as brand representatives. With brands like Apple, Nike and even Coco-Cola their target audience are their mascots and brand evangelists, defining their brand image and strengthening their position in the market. This is why underplaying the importance of brand loyalty can be hazardous to the brand image, especially in the long run.
The Changing Face of Loyalty
Establishing trust, let alone loyalty in today’s world is more difficult than it was in the era when media ads dominated the world. Customers today have access to a zillion more brands, at their fingertips and are also more cautious about how they spend their money.
Customers are also more skeptical now and rely only on brands they trust. Today, trust and brand loyalty are influenced not just by years of experience and advertising but by crucial factors like customer experience, product quality, reliability, brand’s social image and even social causes the brand supports and the values it advocates. Customers want to be associated with brands that stand for something and are inherently humane in their marketing and business approaches. Likewise, brands that are ecological find it easier to build a community of brand followers than others that are not.
Loyalty today depends on many factors. A lucrative give and take fosters loyalty and helps to form a strong bond between the brand and its customers. Loyalty programs that offer meaningful rewards and add value to the customer’s life are a great first step towards building a strong brand following.
Creating Loyalty in a Post-Pandemic Era
The importance of brand loyalty is undeniable but how do you create loyalty in the post-pandemic era? Listed below are the best strategies that are designed to build trust and forge a strong bond between the brand and its customers.
- Make Customer Engagement a Priority – Customer engagement is an important aspect of loyalty. Communicating with customers regularly and engaging with them helps to build a healthy relationship. It also ensures that your brand is never forgotten. Customers that consistently engage with the brand represent a 23% higher share in profitability, revenue and relationship growth.
- Opt for Loyalty Programs – After implementing a loyalty program, the average order quantity a business receives can go up by 319%. Loyalty programs are not just excellent revenue-generating strategies but help the brand in more ways than one. Loyalty programs create an ongoing interaction between the brand and the customers. It rewards customers for purchasing from the brand repeatedly and for their continued association and loyalty. A loyalty program that offers meaningful rewards can engage customers for years and foster trust and loyalty.
- Adopt Personalization – Personalization is the new language of marketing. It aims at creating a personalized experience for customers that suit their needs and preferences. Personalization strategies ensure a higher retention rate and significantly improves customer satisfaction. With the help of loyalty partners like Annex Cloud, you could adopt personalization in your loyalty program and improve its efficiency.
- Focus on Customer Experience – Customer experience is the sum total of every interaction a customer and brand have, it includes onboarding and offboarding procedures, customer support and service. Improving customer experience has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and revenue. Companies that focus on customer experience, observe an 80% increase in revenue than other companies. Improving customer experience can strengthen the brand’s market position and improve brand image considerably.
- Build Trust – Adopt a customer-centric approach that helps in building trust. Make customer satisfaction a priority and focus on maintaining transparency. Close customer feedback loops to project a responsible image. Trust and loyalty are a two-way street when you dedicate your strategies to improve customer experience, you are bound to generate a positive response from your audience.
Amplifying your Loyalty Strategies with Annex Cloud
If you want your loyalty programs to correspond with your brand image, you need the experience and expertise of Annex Cloud.
Annex Cloud understands the importance of branding and can help you design loyalty strategies that resonate with your brand aesthetics and enable you to achieve your marketing and business objectives. Annex Cloud will design tailored loyalty offerings to ensure an increase in average order values and frequency of purchase. Request a demo to see how our Loyalty Experience Platform can help grow your business and build lasting customer bonds.