When brand strategies are born, the immediate focus is generally on client acquisition. After all, the brand is new and therefore needs new clients. However, the focus should quickly expand to include client retention. Here’s why and how.
You may have heard it stated that it’s more cost-effective to retain existing clients than to acquire new ones. This notion is steeped in absolute truth. To prove the point, Flowtown has conducted research, crunched numbers, and come up with the following data:
- Acquiring one new customer can cost up to 7 times more than retaining an existing one.
- When brand strategies do not include retention plans that work, brands suffer operating cost increases of up to 50 percent.
- Brand strategies focussed on customer retention generally result in increased profits of 5 to 95 percent.
That should convince you of the importance of including client retention plans in brand strategies – they not only save your brand money, they sponsor the profits necessary for building your brand.
After all, loyal clients have a lot to offer to brands:
- They are less sensitive to premium prices and revenue increases.
- They require less entertainment and process explanation.
- Recurring sales carry relatively low overhead.
- Promotional offer costs are low or non-existent.
- Advertising costs can be negligible.
- Referrals by loyal clients make new client acquisition easier and less costly.
Does massive client retention sound like something that would be good for your brand? I thought so. Now, let’s talk about how to accomplish it.
Customer Retention Guidelines for Brand Strategies
Achieving profitable client retention numbers relies largely on the guidelines included in brand strategies. Here are some of those guidelines, as tried and tested by How to Build a Brand:
- Provisions must be made to deliver high-quality products and services. You’ve probably heard us talk about your brand being more valuable than your products and services. This is true; however, after your brand has attracted and endeared your ideal clients, you must continue to deliver everything they expect (and more) in order to keep them on-board. Exceed expectations on a regular basis.
- In conjunction with the first point, brand strategies should include instructions for telling new and existing clients what to expect. Be specific about products they will receive, or services they will enjoy. Tell them all about the specific results that will come from using your brand, as prescribed. If they know precisely what to expect, they will not be disappointed (and when you exceed their expectations, they will be thrilled).
- Educate all levels of clients. This includes imparting information about your brand, about how to use it…as well as unbiased (but brand-supportive) news about what’s happening in your industry niche. When clients feel informed, they feel empowered; they feel confident in their decisions and are far more likely to stay on and to make referrals.
- Make choosing your brand [again] easy. Your clients should always feel that it’s easier to reorder from your brand than to look elsewhere for something comparable. Make repeat business feel like a benefit, and everyone involved will…well, benefit.
- Learn to bounce back when your own client retention expectations aren’t met. In other words, brand strategies should always focus on client retention; however, they also need to include ongoing plans for new client acquisition. No client is forever. Understanding this, and having a plan in place to balance the loss, will help your brand to recover quickly from retention setbacks.
I hope that you’ve come to appreciate the value of client retention plans in brand strategies. A loyal client can be a brand’s most valuable asset – besides the brand itself.
Surely, you have questions or comments for the branding experts at How to Build a Brand – and we’re happy to answer them and to continue this conversation. Contact us by calling +44 (0) 208 123 6776 or emailing [email protected] You may also wish to subscribe to Brand Brains Monthly and Like our Facebook Page for daily branding tips.