Customer loyalty is when a customer purchases goods from a certain brand over and over again because of the positive connotations, feelings, and associations they have with this brand. For example; when a customer has the choice between a beverage such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the customer who is loyal to Coca-Cola, will always choose to purchase this drink. How do you create better customer loyalty? Let’s dive in.
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Brand loyalty benefits: when customers are emotionally related to a brand
When customers are relating to the product or service that your company sells, they are most likely connecting to the story that you have to tell. Not only does the brand story create feelings, emotions, strong connotations and a great brand reputation; the way you communicate this is equally important. In this article, we will discuss 5 examples of brands that have done a great job at communicating their brand story. You will see that they often repeat the same tagline and principles over and over again to emphasize their message.
When people are exposed to this ‘tagline’ or way of thinking, they will become accustomed to it. The more they see it, the more customers will eventually link these brand values to this specific brand. When these values are similar to their own values, they can develop a strong bond with your company. They resonate with your brand’s story, and every time they see your brand they will be reminded of these positive or empowering emotions. This is one of the strongest drivers to become loyal, and eventually choose to purchase your product/service instead of your competitor’s goods.
As a brand, you can steer people’s feelings and thoughts in certain directions. As we will see in the examples below, people who think of Coca-Cola are more inclined to link the emotion of happiness to their product, since they have often been using this word throughout their marketing messages. Nike is a beautiful example of creating a movement with its brand. ‘Just do it’ now is a sentence that is linked to the feeling of personal empowerment, making your own choices, and health. These are strong emotions that people react to. When they buy Nike products they simultaneously also buy Nike’s beliefs.
Brand loyalty: advantages and disadvantages for your customer
What are the advantages and disadvantages of brand loyalty for customers? The advantage of being loyal to a brand as a customer is that your associations with certain brands can create positive feelings. Maybe you feel more empowered when you go for a run with your Nike shoes because they remind you of all the other people who ‘just did it’. This can be a strong feeling and has the potential to transform people’s beliefs about themselves and others.
A downside of brand loyalty can be that people might not be aware of these connotations and how these feelings influence their purchase behavior. They might not want to drink Coca-Cola because it is not good for their health but they keep on buying it because it makes them feel ‘happy’. Even though it is the customer’s responsibility to be aware of the psychology behind marketing techniques, brands can also take their responsibility to only promote products that are healthy and sustainable. In the last few years, more companies have been focusing on this whilst keeping the global sustainability goals in mind. Read more about green marketing here.
Examples of brands that are known for having created customer loyalty
Many brands have a great reputation when it comes to building and maintaining brand and customer loyalty. Most of these brands do this by creating a story around their brand which creates positive feelings and emotions amongst their target audience. Let’s look at five examples of brands that have done this well in the past.
Coca-Cola is a brand that is well-known for its ‘happy’ and ‘inclusive’ TV commercials. They have built their brand in a very consistent way. They know what they stand for (creating happiness) and they repeat this message every year. Who doesn’t know the iconic good vibe Christmas commercials? When presented with the option of Coca-Cola or Pepsi, a lot of people will choose Coca-Cola because of the feeling of happiness linked to this brand.
Have you read the book ‘Shoe Dog’ by Nike’s CEO Phil Knight? This book explains how Nike built their brand story from scratch. Nike was one of the first to work together with influencers and well-known athletes to promote the brand. They realized how successful it is having public figures promote their brand. On top of that; they have built their brand tagline ‘just do it’ over the years by incorporating this message in their communications, advertisements, and commercials. This is a very clever way of creating a positive connotation with their brand.
Why do customers choose to purchase Apple products over and over again despite Apple never having sales, promotions, or other sorts of actions/deals? Their products are also not the cheapest among competitors and they often launch new editions of their products, making other products obsolete over time. So how do they keep their audience interested?
First of all, Apple does this through consistency in style, design, and innovative features in their products. Secondly, their tagline ‘think different’ resonates with a lot of their customers. Apple created a story and persona around the buyer of their products. Their buyer is ‘cool, hip, and has the most innovative product’. People (subconsciously) want to fit this buyer persona because they are drawn to the characteristics it presents.
What do you think about when you think of IKEA? Let me go first. I think about a huge store in which I can spend the whole day shopping, eating cheap Swedish meatballs, and even letting my kid play in a safe environment with other kids. When I leave the store I will go home with a 50-cent ice cream and I will end the day assembling my new purchases together with my family. IKEA has put a lot of focus on creating this image and whether your experience at IKEA was different than this or not (busy stories with screaming kids, anyone?) many people will keep thinking about IKEA in a good way.
What does GoPro do that creates great brand loyalty? They know how to use ‘User Generated Content’ for their benefit. On their social media pages, GoPro mainly showcases the amazing videos that their users have made. This creates a feeling that you, as a (potential) user, can do the same! You will think about the things that you can create with your GoPro if you see that John, the surfer next door, has done the same! This is a great way of making people relate to your product.
Do you want to know more about improving brand loyalty?
Brand loyalty is created in different ways and is not a linear process. We can help out with this by looking at what your brand is doing well and where there is room for improvement. Reach out and get in touch today and book a call with us. We’ll be happy to assist you in further growing your business.