What do we want?
What kind of customers?
How do we create loyal customers?
By investing in our brand.
It sounds like a demonstration chant but it perfectly sums up the basis of all marketing. To thrive in the business world, companies need to have returning customers who value their products or services. These customers return because they identify with the brand and feel that the brand represents a philosophy they like.
As a marketing agency, we are always amazed by the strength of brands and their appeal to people. Very often, pricing only comes as a secondary issue when customers refer to their favorite brands. Instead, what they care about is how the brand makes them feel and the sort of positive feelings it brings out in them.
When a new business enters an industry, it has two main tasks:
- Build brand loyalty
- Deposition existing brands and outcompete them.
Of course, this is harder than it sounds. How do you build a brand based on people’s emotions? And how do you challenge existing champions?
How Do You Build Brand Loyalty?
Brand loyalty is based on creating a positive feeling in people. When people buy from you, they want to feel good about themselves and the purchase they made. Toward this goal, you need to focus on your quality, create a positive feeling, show the people behind your products, create your brand tribe, engage with your locality, and show that you care.
Quality You Deliver
The value of your service or product is the first thing customers will notice. You need to explain why your product is better than your competitors’ and how it stands out.
Don’t limit yourself to the product itself. The quality of your brand can be determined by several other factors, such as the after sales services you provide. Or it can be about your customer service, which is manned by real people who will solve your problem in no time. If you are offering a service, you may offer flexible cancellation plans or add-ons that enhance the value of your main service.
No matter how you choose to differentiate yourself from your competition, identify a unique selling point (USP) that will define your brand. Once customers have come to appreciate your strong point, they will advertise it on social media and other media. You can then build a whole conversation with your audience.
Create a Positive Feeling
Nobody wants to buy something that makes them feel moody and cranky. Brand loyalty is fundamentally about psychology. People wish to experience joy and happiness about themselves and the world.
Use imagery, texts, colors, and fonts that support your brand and deliver a positive outlook to your customers. Avoid appearing flaky and focus instead on an image of a brand that is well-grounded and connected with its audience.
A positive feeling can be created in many ways:
- Think of funny but kind videos that are connected with your product.
- Share happy and upbeat stories about people who used your product. Prospective customers will want to feel like your existing customers and they will identify with them.
- Instead of putting down your competitors, show how excellent your product is without mentioning other brands. Be the bigger person, be the bigger brand.
Show the People behind Your Brand
While we all love the digital world, there is often something missing: we can’t connect with what is happening behind the scenes. Even in real-life interaction with brands, we don’t always realize how much is happening backstage. We don’t see the people who made our shoes, the person who packaged our box, or the cleaner who kept our favorite hair salon spotless.
Your brand is your people. Give a voice to these people and show them that you care. Show your audience who is really putting together their service:
- Incorporate videos of behind-the-scenes takes.
- Take short interviews with people who work for you.
- Use personalized details in your packaging, like “this box was prepared by Linda” to make your brand real.
Create Your Brand Tribe
Once people have started learning about your brand, build up their brand loyalty by turning them into members of your brand tribe.
You want to create a community that supports your brand and voluntarily promotes it to friends, colleagues, and family. Your tribe will be your ambassadors to new audiences. Just as importantly, your tribe will be very reluctant to abandon you for another brand.
- Engage with your customers in an authentic and honest way.
- Create online conversations between your customers and let them exchange their frank views and opinions about your product or service. If you spot a problem, address it as fast as possible. Do so publicly, to show people that you care about their thoughts and experiences with your products.
- Ask your faithful tribe members to take photos or send short videos with your products. Integrate these in your advertising and marketing campaigns and reward people with discounts, coupons, and other perks.
- Thank your tribe. People like to feel appreciated, especially when they are doing something out of loyalty. Make them feel special and let them know how grateful you are.
Engage with Your Locality
While you probably want to sell beyond your locality, your immediate vicinity is where you will start. Create your brand by being the best in your area. Whether you are a bakery, architect, garden center, spa, or IT expert, you want your neighbors to know that you excel at what you do.
Your brand may soon expand beyond these narrow borders, but it is your neighbors who will be your first customers.
Engage with local events and take part in gatherings, competitions, and takeaways that your local chamber of commerce is organizing. Put your brand out there and show up to explain your brand philosophy. That’s where it all starts.
Show That You Care
Customers want the brands they support to display their social responsibility and care for the community. This is particularly true for millennials.
As a business, ask your staff which causes matter to them and support one. Make it a group decision that will engage and energize the whole company. Once you have made up your collective mind, you will find your employees feel they are part of a bigger cause and will be more willing to support it.
You want to avoid accidentally sparking a cultural war within your company, of course. So, focus on smaller, local causes that everyone can get behind. Ask around your community and look for opportunities to help. Soup kitchens, underprivileged schools, the creation of a local vegetable plot, college support for teens, or help at a local nursing home are all worthy causes.
Don’t choose a social cause for the sake of the public. Your customers will intuitively pick any unauthentic and fake attention and turn their backs on you. Commit your brand to something that genuinely matters to you and your business.
How Do I Deposition Other Brands?
De-positioning other brands requires patience. Unless you have endless finances, it will be hard to outcompete large brands that have had decades, if not centuries, to build their brand.
However, you can find market niches where your product or service can make a difference and stand out even among bigger players.
Focus on where you stand apart and make your brand heard. Talk with your audience on all the channels you have chosen, start conversations, respond to questions, and explain how your product or service is superior.
You don’t need to put down or even mention your competitors. Point out the benefits and superiority of your products. Do you offer an extended guarantee? Do you offer free shipping? Do you have any bundles that will interest your audience? Highlight these advantages and you will slowly deposition other brands.
People dislike negativity. Even if it works in the short term, it’s not a valid long-term strategy. Consumers don’t want to hear how your competitor is worse. What they want to know is how you are planning on delivering something better.
Brand Loyalty Builds over Time
Building your brand loyalty and depositioning your competition is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Once you succeed, though, it rewards your business with recurring customers who identify with your brand image.
To find out how we can help you build your brand loyalty and deposition your competition, contact InSync Media online to arrange your free exploratory meeting or call us now at 970-901-5216. We will devise a marketing strategy specifically for you!