To really succeed in business you need to foster a strong brand loyalty. Look at the internet arguments between Apple and Android; Xbox and PlayStation as examples. People get attached to their favourite brands and it’s these people that keep businesses afloat, but it doesn’t come easy. You need to work at brand loyalty in order for it to thrive. Think of it as a plant: if you don’t water it, prune it, and make sure it gets enough sunlight, then you’re going to be left with a wilted, soggy mess. What follows is what you need to be doing to foster brand loyalty, especially if you’re just starting out as it’s even more important for you guys.
Stop thinking of your customers as a big mass of faceless imbeciles who are being guided by your hand to buy whatever product or service you’re selling. Each individual customer is a person with a name, a family, and a history and you shouldn’t think of them as a £ sign. That way of thinking shows to a customer and so it’s your job to make them feel special … even though we all know that they aren’t and that they are just a £ sign and figure on your analytics, but to them they need to feel loved and nurtured like a puppy. This is what ensures they come back for more again and again.
There’s too much riding on your business to hope that people accidently stumble onto your site or into your shop and immediately buy something. You need to manipulate them beyond the usual digital and normal marketing schemes. You need to make people need your product by making it seem like they have to have it because other people have it, or will soon have it. People waste money on expensive cars that do the exact same job as a cheap-y Clio, because they want to belong to something more than themselves. They want to get a taste of what it feels like to be elite and belong to a club of other Mercedes drivers. Foster this desire in your customer base and you’ll go far.
Make people believe you stand for your community, even if you’re a national or global company. People like to know that they are supporting a company that is also supporting the community. This can be achieved in a couple of good ways. First: Get out and about in the community by showing your face at events and supporting local charities. Second: Get localised digital marketing. There are companies like Click Intelligence that have a great deal of knowledge in building up local business profiles. Be relentless and get your name out there. Worm your way into the public consciousness and you’ll be around for decades.
Finally, keep everything simple. Most people have fairly short attention spans, especially when dealing with companies. Keep everything as easy and simplified as possible and it’ll mean that customers will return and probably say things like this to their friends, ‘it was so simple’ and ‘I finished setting it up in under five minutes’ and other stuff you hear on adverts but don’t believe.