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Understanding Brand Loyalty

Building and cultivating a brand isn’t an easy job; it takes hard work, time, dedication, financing, and a great deal of professional work. These days, one of the main questions going around in the marketing world is whether it is still worthwhile to build brand loyalty. After all, according to Forbes Magazine, changing demographics and a cultural shift in the market is making it more difficult for brands to establish meaningful and lasting consumer engagement.

However, just become something is more difficult does not mean that it shouldn’t be achieved. Building brand loyalty is just as important in today’s changing market as it was a few years ago. Fostering brand loyalty leads to more interaction between your brand and customers, it builds a long lasting relationship, and it ensures that your brand becomes more than just an item in someone’s house – but a lifelong staple for an entire family and group of friends.

“Spurious” Brand Loyalty vs. “True” Brand Loyalty

A great deal of research has been done in regard to brand loyalty. According to the Brand Channel, one research report delineated two types of brand loyalty – “spurious” loyalty and “true” loyalty. These two types of loyalty systems are somewhat similar, but the type of system that your brand is fostering can have a profound effect upon your brand’s overall marketing success.
Spurious brand loyalty is characterized by bias, behavioural response, expressions over time, and a function inertia. This type of loyalty is the type that tends to fizzle out over time, causing you to lose customers and commitment to your brand.
True brand loyalty is a similar in that it includes the same characteristics of spurious brand loyalty, however it is different in the sense that instead of inertia, there is a high level of brand commitment driven by psychological factors.

True Brand Loyalty Combats Typical Consumer Behavior

Jack Trout, the owner of a prominent consulting firm and the father of positioning theory and market warfare, has recently reached a number of conclusions regarding consumer behavior and interpretation. According to his studies on market research, current consumers have having an extremely difficult time coping with the information overload that brands are presenting.

Currently, humans are facing a massive information overload that comes in the form of a world wide web that is going by one million pages per day, printed knowledge that doubles every five years, and daily electronic content.
However, the main struggle is not in the information overload from brands, but in the limits that the mind poses. If the human mind were able to fairly retain all of the information that it absorbs, brands would likely not have trouble keeping customers. According to Trout, the human mind’s perceptions and memory are highly selective, there are physiological limitations, and what one chooses to retain depends upon the message itself and how the consumer relates to the message.
Synthesizing all of this information together, it becomes clear why brand loyalty is imperative. Brand loyalty is the ideal way to combat against information overload  and typical consumer behavior. By building a long lasting and strong relationship with your consumer, you’ll be able to ensure that the information you market is absorbed because it will be the information that the consumer will choose to retain.

In addition, to prevent conflicting interpretations of your marketing content, you also want to be sure to keep your content relational. Content shouldn’t diverge too much from other content because it weakens consumer understanding of your brand.

Engage Your Customer

While understanding why brand loyalty is very important, it is just as necessary to also know how to create brand loyalty during your net marketing campaign. Brand loyalty isn’t always easy to attain, and in most cases, it can take a great deal of time and commitment to foster. However, regardless of the effort, it is always well worth it. The first method to fostering brand loyalty is to engage your customer.

Customer engagement can happen a number of ways, but the most effective method is using the medium that you customer is most used to. In most cases, current consumers are more inclined to use the internet. Therefore, you want to develop marketing campaigns that are going to particularly utilize social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Taking advantage of these social media platforms can have immense benefit. You’ll be able to target young audiences and engage them in your brand early so that you can foster a long lasting relationship. In addition, using social media platforms provides another benefit, which is that it allows you to analyse just how your efforts are having an effect. Google Analytics, Facebook Tracker, and Pinterest’s Tracker can show you how popular your brand is and whether it is targeting the audience that you expect it to.

Diversify Your Product

If you are targeting younger generations and want to build brand loyalty, then you want to take a few tips from Apple. Apple is one of those brands that has done a stellar job at building a brand whose customers are wholly loyal to. There are a number of reasons that Apple has been able to achieve brand loyalty. Apple consistently provides high-quality products, even when they diversify their product.

For example, take into account the iPhone. Most customers who have bought the latest Apple device have been Apple customer’s since the brand’s inception. Apple has been able to retain customers because it has been able to diversify and improve its products over time to give customers new and more interesting technology that is coupled with the same quality and sleekness that Apple customers expect when they buy Apple products.

Therefore, your next marketing strategy shouldn’t only tout your old products, but it should also feature new items that are going to keep customers and that are going to bring your audience back for more.

Brand Promises – Don’t Break Them

One way to kill brand loyalty and to ensure that your brand won’t see repeat customers is to break brand promises. If your brand has an express warranty, then not only are you legally bound to follow through on it, but you should also do so because it shows your customers that you are fully committed to ensuring that what you provide coincides with what customers are expecting from your brand. In addition, keeping brand promises signals to your customers that you value their loyalty and their use of your brand.

When following through on brand promises, it is important to do so in a timely manner. Prolonging following through on a promise can turn a consumer sour towards your brand.

Fixing Mistakes – Give it Your All

Another way to effectively turn away potentially loyal customers is to fail to fix mistakes when they happen. Brand mistakes can occur in a number of ways, the most prominent of which are a malfunctioning product, a PR mess, a poorly conducted brand marketing campaign, and even little things like problems with product delivery.

Consumers are wholly recipient to brands that can fix their mistakes and apologize for them too. Therefore, if you notice a problem with your brand, then getting your team on the problem immediately can provide you with positive results. Swift response ensures that your customers are happy with your service and that they will still be likely to buy into your brand when the time comes.

You can fix mistake easily by keeping track of customer satisfaction, reports on social media accounts, and even social platform like Twitter, where customers are most likely to take to if they are displeased with your product.

Unique Experiences

To foster true brand loyalty, you need to do more than to offer a good product and to post a few times a week on a social media account for your marketing campaign. The best of brands are able to offer their customers unique experiences as marketing campaigns.

For example, rather than create some creative advertisements, one smart solution is to hold brand events where you can not only show your customer the value of your brand, but you can also allow your customer to engage in your brand.

Loyal customers like brand that are going to go above and beyond traditional brands by cultivating long-lasting and strong relationships. For example, if your brand deals with bikes, then holding an event about bike safety where you market your product is an excellent idea. You can not only show how your product works, but you can also give back to your customer and ensure that they’ll be loyal when it comes time to buy again.

Conclusion

Most brands seem to disregard the importance of brand loyalty. The above research and consumer behavior point to the opposite- brand loyalty is more important than ever. Brand loyalty is what is going to lead your product to future success. To further prove this point, all you need to do is look to some of the biggest and most popular brands in the country.

They aren’t where they are for any reason, they are there because they have been able to keep repeat customers over and over again.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...

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