Wondering about how to enhance brand development and harness the power of word-of-mouth advertising? Hoping to find a formula for creating a client base that will sell your brand for you? The formula is pretty simple: Treat your clients like royalty, and they will give you their loyalty.
Create Brand Loyalty for Brand Development
If brand loyalty was easy to accomplish, more brands would have it. By now, you have probably heard How to Build a Brand talking about how to spot a loyal client. He or she is the one with a strong emotional and psychological attachment to your brand – and has the purchasing or referral history to back it up. That’s identification. Now, how about creation?
Firstly, purchase-based loyalty programs might offer immediate results, but because they’re based on purchase frequency, price, and discount, they virtually force consumers to focus on financial benefit alone, spurring them to shop around. These programs disregard intrinsic value and the forging of human connections. On the surface, you’ll get loyalty. Dig deeper, and you might find that those customers aren’t really loyal to your brand, they’re just addicted to the winning sensation that comes with accumulating and cashing in rewards.
In order to create genuine, long-lasting loyalty that will promote brand development, we suggest treating your clients like royalty. Here are some things we suggest doing:
- Use customers’ names when corresponding with them. This might sound overly simple, but if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a “To Whom it May Concern” correspondence, you can attest to the fact that it didn’t make you feel very special…or brand loyal.
- Acknowledge their accomplishments and special days. A nice birthday note or a congratulatory statement will not soon be forgotten, and clients will feel compelled to reciprocate that kindness.
- Introduce yourself and your staff to your customers. Personal branding is a huge part of today’s branding landscape. Today’s consumer isn’t interested in the corporate model – they want to know who’s behind it before they’ll commit to spending money.
- Show them how your business operates, both in the public eye and behind the scenes. This is another aspect of personal branding, and it makes clients feel like V.I.P.s. Of course, they’ll want to continue doing business with your brand. They want to continue getting special treatment.
- Ask for their opinions (and respond to them). Involve clients in your processes and they’ll develop a feeling of ownership – which will emotionally tie them to your brand.
- Offer ways for them to collaborate and to be rewarded (like referral programs). This doesn’t have to be monetary. The reward might be inclusion in a special club or a public acknowledgement. Acknowledge your clients’ work for you and they’ll continue to work for you.
- Ask for their commitment to long-term ventures and keep them updated along the way. This will keep clients vested and emotionally connected.
- When they reach the status of highly loyal customers, treat them like loyalty royalty with VIP-only invitations and special statuses. Make those perks evident to other customers, in an effort to spur all to strive for loyalty royalty status.
Knowing how to enact brand development involves more than getting the customers to come. Even more importantly, it’s about getting them to stay…loyal. This makes your role in brand development key, especially when you understand the importance of treating your best clients like royalty.
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