How To Build Brand Loyalty (So Your Customers Love You!)
With so many brands and products launching all the time, it’s more important than ever to impress your customers and create a good first impression.
People often see their favorite brands like their best friends – so it’s time to nurture this relationship. If you treat your customer well, they’ll introduce you to their friends and are likely to be with you for a long time.
So in this article, we’ll share 6 effective ways to build brand loyalty… and make your customers love you!
1. Surprise and delight your customer by making the first physical interaction with your product AMAZING
If you’re an online business, then the first time your brand physically arrives in the hands of your customer is critical. First impressions are key.
Just like a date, the customer will often make up their mind if they love the product within the first few minutes of seeing it. And as they have spent their money on your product, it’s important that they are pleased with their purchase and want to come back for more – rather than regretting it and wishing they’d never gone there.
If you can surprise and delight your customer with an amazing initial experience, it can really strengthen the bond and create brand loyalty for many years to come.
Here are some tips to stand out from the crowd and create an amazing first experience;
- Make the packaging so beautiful that it encourages consumers to film the ‘unboxing’ experience. If your product gets in the hands of any influencers, they may well even film the unboxing experience for free – just because they love it so much. So make the most of this opportunity and think about how you can optimize your packaging.
- Include a personalized or handwritten note. Sending handwritten cards can show your customer there is a real human behind your brand, and disrupt customer expectations. For some tips on how to do this efficiently, check out this article.
- Include a small-but-unexpected gift. For example, if you sell protein powder, you could send a small resistance band with it to tie in with building muscle. Or if you are a clothing brand, you could send a free tote bag that’s even got your brand name on it. It’s amazing how far one small free gift goes- it’s rare that people don’t want to receive anything for free!
- Appeal to all the senses. Apart from the physical packaging, how else can you enhance the opening experience? Can you use soft tissue paper with a light spray of scent to wow them when they open it?
It’s these small things which may seem tiny but help you stand out from your competition, and will make your consumers come back for more. This is even more important when the festive season approaches, as they’re more likely to choose your brand as a gift for their family or friends.
2. Respond to every single customer comment.
Whether this is a post on Instagram, an email or even a review on your website… If you can say thank you, this will show your customer that there is a human behind the business and that you care about their satisfaction.
Ways to do this are:
- Set up Google Alerts so that you receive an email every time a customer mentions your brand online.
- And of course- like, reshare, or comment on any photos that you are tagged in on social media. If you reshare posts, it’s a really good idea to contact the customer first to ask their permission to reshare. While it might take a bit longer to post as you’re waiting for approval, it will show your customer that you care about their privacy. It will also give you another point of communication and therefore strengthen the bond between your customer and brand.
Engaging with your customers on social media will create a voice to the brand as well as a deeper connection with your customers.
3. Make the most of User Generated Content (UGC)
If you’re building a brand, chances are that you’ve got a Facebook and/or Instagram page. But do you ever struggle with knowing what content to post? It’s recommended that you post at least once a day but it can be difficult finding new images and thinking of fresh copy daily.
If you can encourage your customers to share their own photos, then you’ll have a ton of new content that you can reshare. This might also encourage more people to post, as they can see you acknowledging others’ posts.
So how can you encourage UGC?
- If you’re already sending insert cards, ask people to tag you on Instagram with a specific hashtag to get 10% off their next order, or to be in with a chance of winning something.
- Search all the content using this hashtag. Hopefully, it will give you plenty of fresh content to share.
As well as giving you extra content, it’ll help to increase trust with new customers. Resharing other customers’ photos shows that you’ve got plenty of other happy customers – so much so that they love your product so much they want to post about it.
So by making the most of user-generated-content can have 3 benefits; it gives you content for free, increases consumer trust, and might encourage more people to share and tag you too.
4. Listen to what people are saying about you… and your competitors
If you’re already setting up Google Alerts for your own brand, you might like to set up Google Alerts for your competitors too.
This way, you’ll know exactly what your customers are looking for – whether it’s things they love or things they hate. You can listen to what your audience wants and hopefully swoop right in.
For example, if someone is complaining about a competitive product and you have an alternative product- offer them a free sample. This way you can help your prospective customer & gain a new customer too.
5. Encourage & respond to customer reviews
Reviews are extremely important in influencing purchasing decisions, as they come from the customer rather than the brand.
This means they should be an accurate way to show potential customers what the product is really like.
If you’ve got a Shopify website, here are some tips to encourage reviews;
- Install a review app. There are many apps that collect reviews; we like “Product Reviews” or “Yotpo”. Both of these are free, easy to install and allow you to include reviews on both your homepage & product pages which helps build trust between your consumer.
- Set up automated emails. You can ask your customers for reviews after a certain amount of days after delivery.
- Encourage your customer to tell their friends about your brand. You could give your customers an incentive if they tell a friend. I.e. “Tell a friend & you can both get 15% off! Share this link with your friends- they’ll get 15% off, and you’ll get an extra 15% off your next purchase”. People are much more likely to buy from friends’ recommendations so encouraging recommendations might cost a lot less than standard advertising to cold traffic.
When the reviews come in, we recommend responding to them all. Even if they share all-positive feedback, it gives you another reason to open up a conversation with your customer and just say thank you. The more points of contact you can have with your customer – the more they are likely to remember you.
If you are selling on Amazon or eBay, be careful about asking for reviews as the rules around reviews are much stricter. You can use tools like Jumpsend or Feedback Genius to send automated emails asking for customer reviews to be in line with Amazon’s policies.
6. Say Happy Birthday To Your Customers
It’s only a small act but wishing your customers a happy birthday is another moment where you can surprise and delight. It shows another element of human compassion behind your brand.
You could offer a special 20% off for one month only or even give them something for free as a present.
Also, consider how you send this birthday message.
Email might be the easiest and cheapest option – however, it is their birthday and maybe a good, old-fashioned card in the post might create more of an impression (if your budget allows this).
- If you choose email, Swell Rewards is an app that you can install to help integrate your birthday rewards with your email provider.
- Or if you choose mail, collect their birthday data when they sign up or order. You can then schedule automated cards through systems like Postable.
Whichever way you choose to send your birthday message, it could set you apart from your competitors. You might even see an uplift in sales if your customer is feeling particularly birthday-happy!
So there are our 6 ways to help you create brand loyalty and create an amazing first impression.
If you can wow your customers and show there’s a compassionate human behind your brand, they’ll keep coming back for more.