In developing and creating a brand for your company, there are many steps one should take. Careful consideration around what you want your brand to be, say and represent and is a chore in and of itself. Then there’s brand awareness, customer acquisition, customer retention, and more. However, through all of these steps and marketing tactics, creating brand loyalty for your brand should be top of mind. Without brand loyal consumers, a brand’s growth will suffer. Here are some helpful tips to implement in your brand’s marketing tactics to help ensure your brand obtains loyal customers.

What Does Brand Loyalty Mean?

What does being “brand loyal” even mean? For this post’s purpose, we’ve defined it as a consumer who has made enough purchases to become a brand advocate. A consumer who has made multiple purchases from your brand is someone who has found trust in what you’re selling and how you’re selling it. A Rakuten Marketing study found that consumers who have purchased 4-5 times are 1.2x more likely to be brand loyal. The same study found that consumers who have purchased 10-11 times are 2.2x more likely to be brand loyal. The more purchases a consumer makes, the more likely they are to eventually become a brand advocate. A brand advocate is a consumer who has made enough purchases that they speak positively of your brand and recommend it to their friends and family – and it’s always been said that the best kind of advertising is by word of mouth. Last year, our holiday survey indicated that the majority of surveyed consumers seek gift inspiration from friends and family. With so many people relying on their peers to give them advice on where to shop and what to shop for, it’s important to get consumers talking about how much they love your brand. The more you can get a consumer to purchase and love your brand, the more likely they’re going to talk about it.

With this knowledge, brands should find ways that encourage consumers to come back and shop again, but also reasons why they love your brand over others. One can easily get a consumer to remember your brand multiple ways such as retargeting or by offering enticing rewards and deals upon return, but it’s really more in how you’re connecting with your consumers, which this post dives into below, that will drive brand loyalty.

Genuine Engagement

When increasing brand awareness and gaining new customers through efforts like prospecting, social and mobile ad campaigns, etc., be sure your engagement is of high-quality so your touchpoints feel sincere and aren’t bombarding or intrusive. It’s important to continually engage consumers in a number of different ways but use each platform differently and intelligently.

For example, when advertising on social it’s important to know and understand the platform you’re working with and create experiences that flow with the natural feel of the app to avoid interrupting a consumers experience. Also, social media is more of a purchase inspiration platform rather than a direct-buy platform, a recent eMarketer article stated. So, most everything consumers see on their social media feed from a brand will get them thinking about that brand rather than actually purchasing from it. Since consumers are inspired by what they see on social media, utilize it as a way to speak and portray what your brand stands for, to build a brand voice, and to show your brand’s personality. This will build brand-loyalty through showing ways consumers can connect to your brand and how your brand aligns with their views and interests so when they do go to make a purchase, your brand will be top of mind.

Utilize Artificial Intelligence for Personalization

Some consumers may have negative feelings associated with the thought of artificial intelligence (AI) but they tend to overlook, and may not possibly even understand, the level of personalization AI brings to their experiences. Through investing in AI, your brand can do multiple things such as create lookalike audiences (targeting consumers based on similar interests to what your brand is and sells) to increase the amount of consumers that could possibly enjoy your product and brand. It can also learn the behaviors of your brand’s consumers and make suggestions on other products they may like due to being similar in taste and interest of the consumer. Think of it similarly to the “what others have listened to” section with music apps – these apps take what a consumer is already searching for and listening to and through the benefit of AI can then offer similar songs and playlists to expand on what the consumer already enjoys. There’s so much that can be done with AI; however, learning what AI is and how to use it is the best first step, so be sure to study up to guarantee a balance between customizing for a consumer and over-personalizing…you don’t want to have your consumers thinking you’re “creepy.”

Consistently Value Your Consumers

Showing appreciation and recognizing someone’s value is just as effective in marketing as it is in personal relationships to “keep the spark alive.” Even the smallest, simplest outreaches to consumers to show their value to your brand can go a long way. Welcoming new consumers with a welcome email is a great first impression. Getting a chance to talk a little about your brand will let your consumer get to know who they’re interacting with. You can even invite the consumer to take a “we want to get to know you!” quiz where they can curate and design what they like and dislike. This way your brand can deliver the best, most tailored experiences with every future email, mobile app notification, etc. they receive. It also will show that you care and want to give them an individualized experience with your brand. Continue this kind of appreciation through happy birthday gifts (all girls can attest to the excitement of receiving their free birthday gift from their favorite beauty store), as well as sending simple happy holiday wishes that is all curated and tailored to what each consumer prefers.

Another way to show appreciation is through things like loyalty programs. According to eMarketer, one-quarter of respondents cited great deals as the biggest influence when it came to creating loyalty. However, as pointed out by this article as well, loyalty rewards won’t do all of the work for you in creating brand-loyal consumers. If you use loyalty rewards or coupons strategically in alignment with personalized content and advertising, you can get consumers to come back again and again that will, in turn, create more brand advocates.

In implementing thoughtful, personalized content that aligns with your consumers’ likes and interests from the first touchpoint to the most recent will build your brand and create loyal customers.